Ningbo City (China), Nov 29: MC Mary Kom remained on course for an unprecedented fourth successive title but India's hopes of retaining the team crown all but ended after two of its four pugilists lost their semi-final bouts in the fifth World Women's boxing championship on Friday.
Apart from Mary Kom (46kg), silver medallist of the previous edition in New Delhi, N Usha (57kg), was the only other Indian to make the finals of the event. The other two semi-finalists, Chhoto Laura (50kg) and L Sarita (52kg), who won a bronze and a gold respectively in New Delhi, bowed out.
The duo will have to be content with bronze medals. Mary Kom opened the proceedings for India against Korean Ok Jong. The Indian kept her guard well and didn't give many scoring opportunities to her rival to notch up an 8-3 win.
The 25-year-old Manipuri will now be up against Romanian Steluta Duta. Though Chhoto fought hard in a low-scoring bout against Russian Elena Savelyeva, she could not avert a heart-breaking 2-3 defeat.
Then Sarita lost 3-8 to Filipino Annie Albania 3-8 but Usha made sure that the seven-member Indian contingent ended the day on a high and blanked Hungary's Edina Pezdany 6-0.
Usha has a tough summit clash against local favourite Qin Jian on Saturday. India are currently placed fourth in the team rankings with 11 points.