Mary Kom advanced to quarter-final of India Open boxing tournament

India's boxer MC Mary Kom punches a bag during a training session at Balewadi Stadium in Pune, about 190 km (118 miles) from Mumbai, March 12, 2012. Mary Kom was the face of the campaign to get women's boxing into the Olympics and the Indian mother of two will be competing at the world championships in China in May aiming to book her spot at the London Games in the 51kg category. Picture taken March 12, 2012. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui (INDIA - Tags: SPORT BOXING OLYMPICS) - RTR2ZKF4

Vastavam web: India were assured of a medal without a fight, owing to the small size of the draw, even as favourites such as M C Mary Kom (48kg) advanced to the quarter-final of the India Open boxing tournament here.Pooja was through straight to the welterweight (69kg) semifinals due to the small size of her draw, opening India’s account on the first day itself.Mary Kom countered her rival’s attack quite easily, digging from her experience to claim a unanimous win.

Former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen got the better of last year’s Nation’s Cup gold-medallist Neeraj in her opening clash of the 51kg category. The national bronze- medallist won on a split verdict.Former world championships silver-medallist Saweety Boora (75kg), who is seeded sixth, too advanced expectedly, defeating compatriot K A Indraja.In the men’s section, Olympian Manoj Kumar overcame Kenya s Kimathi Jacob in the welter-weight division.

The Indian began on a cautious note, trying to asses his opponent. He landed only a few blows in the first two rounds.Satish fetched a unanimous verdict after thoroughly dominating his bout.Y Sandhyarani (75kg) got the better of Mongolian Namun Monkhor in a split verdict.Afghanistan ended up giving two walkovers after their women boxers Nilofar (57kg) and Shogufa Qadri (51kg) could not come due to some personal issues.