Harpal Singh Bedi / New Delhi
Formidable Scotland and Kosovo are among the nine countries who will their debut in the 10th edition of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships commencing at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, New Delhi on Thursday, making it one of the toughest competition .
This is the first time that New Delhi will host the World Championships since 2006 when 178 boxers from 33 nations fought for the medals. After 12 years, women’s boxing has improved significantly and is evident from the fact that 72 countries have registered to take part in the forthcoming edition.
Previously 102 nations from all of the five Confederations participated in the nine editions of the World Championships since 2001.
A strong boxing power Scotland formed its women’s boxing team a few years ago but never sent teams to the previous editions of the championships. Three of their boxers including 19-year-old Victoria Glover (57kg) will battle for the top honours. The other two are Stephanie Kernachan (51kg) and Megan Reid (64kg).
Kosovo joined the World Boxing Body (AIBA) in 2012 and their boxers attended in the men’s elite, youth and junior part of the AIBA events in recent years. The country’s first woman debutante boxer Donjeta Sadiku is the EUBC European Women’s Youth Champion and the 19-year-old pugilist claimed silver in the Taipei 2015 Junior World Championships.
The third European country making debut is Malta which is not a regular participating nation in the world events. Their last appearance was in the Milan 2009 World Championships in the men’s elite competition but Australian-based Skye Falzon will be joining the Women’s Championships.
Bangladesh launched their women’s boxing program a few years ago and their National Championships are added to their calendar since 2013. Following the participation of women boxers in the South Asian Games (SAG), three women boxers from Bangladesh will be making their debuts at the world level here.
Another debutante at the Worlds will be Cayman Islands, a new entrant to women’s boxing from the American continent. Their Commonwealth Games competitor Brandy Barnes is only 20 but she has got international experiences at the light flyweight (48kg) category.
Four nations from the Africa nations- Congo, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Somalia will also be taking part for the first time .
The Somalian boxer to watch will be London-based Ramla Ali, who represented England in the past but had decided to change her nationality and represent her home country.