By Paritosh Pramanik
DEFEATING same opponent from Maldova in earlier tournament gave Indian boxer Alfiya Tarranum Akram Khan Pathan psychological edge in the final which helped her win the summit clash hands down, felt Indian boxing coach Bhaskar Bhatt.
Nagpur’s pride Alfiya defeated Moldova’s Daria Kozorez 5-0 in the final on Thursday night to clinch her first-ever World Youth Championship gold medal at Kielce in Poland.
Indian women scripted history by winning a total of seven gold medals in the tournament. Talking with ‘The Hitavada’, India coach Bhaskar Bhatt said the coaching staff was confident of Alfiya, the ever-improving boxer, winning the gold medal. “The coaching staff was not under any pressure for the seventh gold. We had won a record six golds which was unbelievable. We were confident that Alfiya will win the seventh gold for India. Alfiya had a psychological edge over her opponent in the final. Her opponent Moldova’s Kozorez was under pressure as Alfiya had defeated her in the Montenegro competition. Alfiya was too strong for her in the final. And she had recorded wins over two strong opponents (in quarter-final and semi-final) which had boosted her confidence.
“We were sure that Alfiya would beat Daria one-sided and we all saw how brilliantly she won the gold. It was a top-notch performance from Alfiya and we are very proud of her,” said Bhatt from Poland.
In the semi-final Alfiya lost the first round but bounced back in the remaining two after changing her strategies.
“After Alfiya lost the first round in the semi-final bout against host Poland’s Toborek Oliwia, we decided to go for an all-out attack in the next round. Had she played defensively, she would have lost the game. We asked her to attack and she followed our instructions and drew level the second round. In
the third round she was all over her opponent and won the match by split decision (3-2),” said Bhatt.
Bhatt said they were sure of Alfiya winning the medal in 81+ weight category. “We are working with Alfiya for the past two years. We all were aware of her capabilities in this weight category (81+). We were 100 per cent sure that she would win the gold,” said the Indian coach.
Bhatt said that the future of Indian boxing is bright with someone from this bunch winning medals at Olympics.
“The future of Indian boxing is bright and I can assure you that in future Olympics you will see someone from this batch winning a medal for the country,” Bhatt predicted.
The seven gold medals till Thursday surprised the Indian coaching staff as they were expecting around five yellow metals.
“The team’s performance in this world championship has been outstanding. The boxers gave extra-ordinary performance which surprised us (to some extent) and stunned others. Seven out of ten gold medals are won by India which is a very commendable performance,” he said. Bhatt said that as is the practice all the boxers will be rewarded for the superb performance. “The Indian Government has been rewarding players with cash prizes according to their performances and this time, too, the players will be rewarded. The players will have to fill their performance form and Government will definitely reward them,” Bhatt concluded.