NAME: Sarjubala Devi
When iconic boxer MC Mary Kom announced that she will forego the upcoming Asian Games, everyone was curious to know who will fill her shoes in Jakarta. Last month, it was Sarjubala Devi who after defeating Pinki Rani in the selection trials clinched the 51kg spot in the women’s squad.
Sarjubala Devi hails from Manipur and started her career in boxing in 2005 after getting inspired by the stories of Mary Kom. Devi is learnt to have started boxing from school but took the stepping stone in 2007 when she joined Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre for boxing in Imphal.
Her first major success came in 2011 when she made her first international debut and won gold in Youth World Women Boxing Championship organised in Turkey. At home, Sarjubala has reaped gold in Sub-Junior, Junior Women National Championships and National Boxing Championships.
In 2012, Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) had announced to support her to prepare for the 2016 Olympics as she was expected to be serious medal prospect, however, death of her sister and an ailing brother, along with her posting in Visakhapatnam East Coast Railway, got the best of her and she lost about to World No.1 Nazim Kyzaibai, falling short to qualify for the Olympics.
But the tenacious boxer got back and now will walk into the ring after her fourth Women’s Senior National Boxing Championship title in Haridwar in November last year.
Professional Highlights: Sarjubala has won the Senior National Boxing Championships 4 times, she has won Gold at the Youth World Women Boxing Championship at the international platform and Sub-Junior, Junior Women National Championships at home during her early days.