In what will come as a huge disappointment for boxing fans in India, five-time world champion M C Mary Kom’s hopes of a second successive Olympic appearance ended after she went down in the second round of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Astana (Kazakhstan) on Saturday.

As if that was not bad enough, Sarita Devi then lost her second round bout (60 kg) as well, beaten 0-3 by Mexican Victoria Torres as India’s hopes of seeing these two women in Rio came crashing down.

Mary Kom (51kg), who was a bronze-medallist at the 2012 London Olympics, lost 0-2 to Germany’s Azize Nimani in the second round of an event from where only the semifinalists would make the cut for the upcoming Rio Games.

There is, however, a minor chance for Mary Kom to get an invitational quota to participate in Rio, but it involves a lot of other results going her way in the ongoing Boxing Worlds.

The only Olympic hope left for India in the event is Pooja Rani (75kg), who is in the prequarterfinals after winning her opening bout on Friday. 

Speaking after the match, Mary Kom told PTI:

b’File image / Source: AFP’

An aggressive Mary Kom was left frustrated by Nimani’s defensive tactics. Her determined attacks failed to yield the desired results as Nimani was declared winner on a split vote by the judges.

b’File image of Sarita Devi / AFP’

Sarita, for her part, started off confidently against Torres but the Mexican’s persistence helped her clinch the bout. Sarita was ahead in the opening two rounds on split decisions but Torres roared back in the next two to oust the veteran Indian, who was eyeing her maiden Olympic berth. 

The tournament is the final qualifying event for women boxers in the three Olympic categories of 51kg, 60kg, and 75kg and has 12 Rio tickets on offer.

After a bronze in London 2012, a lot was expected from India’s star boxer Mary Kom, but it looks like, for now at least, Mary Kom will be a spectator when Rio Olympics gets underway in August and unfortunately, so will Sarita Devi

With PTI inputs (Featured image: AFP)