Gold Coast, April 14: The legend of M C Mary Kom grew larger as she added the Commonwealth Games gold (48kg) to her packed medal cabinet, thrashing Northern Ireland's Kristina O'Hara in the final here on Saturday (April 14).
India added second gold from the ring as Gaurav Solanki hammered Brendan Irvine of Northern Ireland in the 52kg category. However, Manish Kaushik settled for silver in the 60kg category after going down to Harry Garside of Australia.
The 35-year-old five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist was competing in her debut Commonwealth Games, also perhaps her last, and made it a memorable one with yet another dominating performance to claim a unanimous verdict of 5-0. Meanwhile Amit Phangal settled for silver in the 49kg category after losing to England's Galal Yafai.
The 22-year-old O'Hara, who works as a carer at a nursing home when she is not trading punches in the ring, lacked the finesse to counter the experienced Indian and failed to take advantage of her longer reach.
Mary Kom struck her at will, her right hooks being especially telling.
GOLD🥇 NO 2 comes in 🇮🇳 What a gutsy fight by Gaurav Solanki, takes the match with a 4:1 decision and his first major medal. JAI HO#PunchMeinHaiDum #GC2018 #GC2018boxing #CWG2018 pic.twitter.com/t8mr4tf8TX— Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) April 14, 2018
By the second round, Mary Kom seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself in the ring against her timid rival.
Mary Kom had claimed the Asian Championships gold five months ago, before ensnaring the top honours at the India Open in January. She had won a silver medal at the Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria before coming to Gold Coast.
At the CWG, the five-time world champion won 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 30-27, 20-27 to land the verdict in her favour.
Emotional @MangteC- the Legend, the Champion the HERO of Indian Sport, after winning her first Commonwealth Games Gold Medal. JAI HOOOO! #PunchMeinHaiDum #GC2018boxing #CWG2018 #GC2018 pic.twitter.com/XnKZ5idExs— Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) April 14, 2018
When Mary Kom claimed her fifth Asian Championships Gold in Vietnam in November, it surely was one of the greatest comebacks in Indian sports.
It must have been tough for the 35-year-old considering she was away from the boxing ring for a considerable amount of time but to her credit, Mary looked better than ever with a dominant performance, signalling that she had put the disappointment of not qualifying for Rio Olympics behind her.
Three months later, Mary Kom proved that her latest return to the ring wasn't a fluke when she won another gold medal in the inaugural India Open boxing championship.
A #Golden dream come true for @MangteC and #TeamIndia!— IOA - Team India (@ioaindia) April 14, 2018
35 year old boxing legend #MaryKom bags a Gold 🥇 in her debut #GC2018Boxing Women's 45-48kg Final Bout at the #GC2018 #CommonwealthGames
She beat #KristinaOHara of #TeamNIR by unanimous decision! #Congratulations Champion! pic.twitter.com/mFgzuIltag
Mary Kom, mom of three, was the subject of a Bollywood biographical film Mary Kom in 2014 starring Priyanka Chopra in the lead role.
The CWG gold is the latest collection in her trophy cabinet which already has an Olympic bronze from the London Games 2012 apart from five amateur world championship titles.