New Delhi, May 11: India’s five—time world champion M.C. Mary Kom on Friday got the seventh seeding and a first—round bye in the draw for the World Women’s Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China - the first and only qualifying event for the sport ahead of its historic Olympic debut in London.
Women boxers will be competing at the Olympic Games in three weight categories - 51kg, 60kg and 75kg - and 24 quota places (eight in each weight categories) are up for grabs at the event where action kicks off Saturday.
The 29—year—old Mary Kom (51kg), who clinched the Asian crown last month, will open her campaign on Sunday against winner of the preliminary bout between Asian bronze—medallist Ayako Minowa of Japan and Athina Malefaki of Greece.
A total of 55 boxers are competing in Mary Kom’s flyweight division in which Asia can grab just two Olympic slots.
In the 60kg category, where 58 boxers are in the competition, Asian champion L Sarita Devi will square off against Ayzanat Hajiyeva of Azerbaijan on Saturday. On the same day, Pooja Rani (75kg) will fight Claressa Shields of USA.
In other preliminary bouts featuring India, K Mandakini (57kg) will be up against Bo Jana Ranic of Serbia and Neetu Chahal (69kg) will be up against Bianka Nagy of Hungary.
A total of 305 boxers representing 70 countries are participating in the mega—event.