How pursuit of individual glory steered Manju Rani to boxing

Ulan-Ude: She took to boxing in pursuit of individual glory and Manju Rani got what she wanted in her debut world championship, that too in her maiden year at the top level.

The 19-year-old from Haryana, who represented Punjab in the Nationals after failing to get a break from her own state, was the lone Indian, among four semifinalists, to make the finals of the mega-event.

She ended her campaign with a light flyweight (48kg) silver medal on Sunday after losing to Russia’s Ekaterina Paltceva by a very close margin.

“It’s an early birthday present. I turn 20 on Saturday,” Rani told PTI in a telephonic interaction. Hailing from the Rithal village in Rohtak, life was tough for Rani. She lost her father, a BSF man, to cancer in 2010 and was raised, along with four of her other siblings, by her mother Ishwanti Devi.

“I started as a kabaddi player but that’s a team sport and credit is shared. Boxing attracted me because it’s an individual sport, the glory is all yours alone,” she recalled.

“My mother was very supportive of my career choice. She backed me to the hilt,” she added.

“Vijender bhaiyya and Mary didi have inspired so many and I am one of them. Just looking at what they have achieved makes you want to work harder. I used to watch them and feel good about taking up this sport,” she added.

Winning silver on debut World Boxing C’ship is a great feat

New Delhi: Kiren Rijiju, the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports on Sunday lauded Manju Rani for winning the silver medal in the Women’s World Boxing Championships, saying winning the medal in her debut campaign is a great feat.

“A silver in a world championship on a debut campaign is a great feat. Manju Rani rounds up her campaign at the women’s world boxing championships with a silver medal after a runners-up finish in 48 kg. @KirenRijiju congratulates the young boxer,” Kiren Rijiju office tweeted.