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Indian pugilists face tough draw: MC Mary Kom

Astana (Kazakhstan): India's five-time champion MC Mary Kom (51kg) will take on Sweden's Juliana Soderstrom in her opening bout of a highly competitive World Women's Boxing Championship where only three of her compatriots were given seedings here yesterday.

MC Mary Kom
MC Mary Kom

The event — the final qualifying tournament for women boxers in the three Olympic categories of 51kg, 60kg, and 75kg — has 12 Rio tickets on offer which means pugilists will have to at least make the semi-finals of the three chosen divisions to book their berth. The other Indians, who would be eyeing Olympic slots apart from Mary Kom are L Sarita Devi (60kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg).

The Olympic category draws are expectedly the most crowded featuring 49 and 47 boxers in the 51kg and 60kg divisions respectively, while the 75kg category has 34 in fray. London Olympic medallist Mary Kom, who is eyeing a record sixth gold in the event, will be in action today along with and Asiad bronze-winner Sarita.

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