Castellon (Spain), March 4: In her first match in a year, six-time world champion MC Mary Kom beat GiordanaSorrentino of Italy to reach the women’s 51kg semi-finals and ensure a medal at the Boxam Elite International tournament here.
Mary Kom has already qualified for this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, having earned a quota place.
Earlier, World Championships bronze medallist Manish Kaushik made an impressive comeback in the ring as he outpunched Spanish opponent Raddouane Ammari 5-0 to enter the quarter-finals in the 63kg light welterweight category.
Another Indian, Mohammed Husamuddin (57kg), also made his way into the quarter-finals with a comfortable 4-1 scoreline against local boy Juan Manuel Torres.
Haryana boxer Kaushik, 25, couldn’t compete in the ring since Asian Olympic Qualifiers held in March last year due to injuries and is making a return after more than a year’s break.
Kaushik will take on two-time ASBC Asian Boxing Championships silver medallist Kazakhstan boxer Sufiullin Zakir on Thursday while Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Husamuddin will face Italy’s Simone Spada.
Zakir beat Abdelhaq Nadir of Morocco 3-1 in the preliminary round match.
The second day of the tournament will see six Indian women competing, including Jasmine and Manisha Moun (57 kg), Simranjit Kaur (60 kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg) and Pooja Rani (75 kg), who all will compete in the quarter-finals.
A 14-member Indian contingent (eight men and six women), including nine Olympic qualified and other top boxers, is competing in the 35th edition of the tournament. Boxers from 17 countries, including top boxing nations like Russia, USA, Italy, Kazakhstan and Spain, are participating.