Mary Kom enters last 16

Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom
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Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom

Highlights

Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg) powered into the Olympics' pre-quarterfinals with a superb tactical victory over Dominican Republic's Miguelina Hernandez Garcia

Tokyo: Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg) powered into the Olympics' pre-quarterfinals with a superb tactical victory over Dominican Republic's Miguelina Hernandez Garcia but Manish Kaushik's (63kg) Games debut ended in disappointment following a hard-fought opening-round loss here on Sunday.

The 38-year-old Mary Kom, who is a 2012 Olympic bronze-medallist and a multiple-time Asian champion, prevailed 4-1 against a rival who is 15 years her junior and a Pan American Games bronze-medallist.

But Manish, a Commonwealth Games silver-medallist and a world championship bronze-winner, went down 1-4 to Britain's Luke McCormack in an edge-of-the-seat clash.

Mary Kom was the first to step into the ring and in a bout that was also exciting from start to finish, the Manipuri displayed some brilliant tactics to overcome the fight that Garcia put up.

"It has been very painful, the last couple of years, for everybody because of the pandemic and everything shut down. We are all suffering the same problem and every athlete has to train at home, but for us boxers, we need a training partner," Mary Kom said in the mixed zone after her triumph.

"I am so lucky, I could set up a little gym with equipment and a bag, but the only thing missing was a sparring partner which is the most important for the eye contact and everything," she added about the challenges building up to the Games amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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