Video Journalist: Sumit BadolaVideo Editor: Ashutosh BharadwajLed by six-time World Champion Mary Kom and veteran boxer Sarita Devi, the 10-member Indian contingent will be eyeing a rich haul of medals when India takes guard at the World Women's Boxing Championship starting in Ulan Ude on Thursday.A good mix of youth and experience, Lovlina Borgohain in 69 kg and Neeraj Phogat in 57 kg will lead the charge for the young brigade.While Mary continues to be India’s strongest medal contender, Sarita Devi will also look to silence her critics with a good outing in Russia.“This World Championships is very special for me. People comment about my age that I am continuing boxing despite my age and how I can’t compete internationally anymore. I want to prove to them that how I still have it in me to win internationally irrespective of my age.”Sarita Devi The QuintSarita, a former world champion, has been in good touch recently. She defeated last edition's bronze-winner and a much younger Simranjit Kaur in the trials. The 37-year-old has defied her age to give the newcomers a run for the money.According to her, discipline and her love for the sport are the two things that have kept her relevant.“I love boxing. But that reason I have survived in this sport. Due to my love for boxing I am never bored of it. For that reason, I can perform continuously and maintain a certain standard of performance.”Sarita DeviAn Arjuna awardee, Sarita is the only Indian to win a gold at the world championships after Mary Kom. Apart from the gold, the eight-time Asian medallist also has two bronze medals to her name at the world championships.“I never thought that since I have been a World Champion, I am a very big player. Neither the Arjuna Award nor a medal at the Asian Games made me feel like that. Till today I come on time for my training sessions. I behave with my coaches like a junior athlete,” said Sarita.“I am participating internationally for the last 20 years but still I listen to my coaches when they point out my mistakes or try to rectify them, just like a newcomer.”Sarita DeviSarita, seeded fourth, has got a bye into the round of 32 and will begin her campaign on 6 October.Making her debut at the World Championships, Neeraj Phogat will be competing in the 57 kg category. The former national champion comes from a family of wrestlers, as her surname would suggest. Boxing was just a happy coincidence for her.“I had no plans of pursuing boxing. I come from a family of wrestlers. My uncles and my brother were all wrestlers. In fact, my father wanted me to pursue wrestling. But I wasn’t interested in wrestling.”Neeraj Phogat The Quint“I didn’t like the idea of wrestling in the mud. From there I don’t know how I entered the field of boxing,” added Neeraj.After trying out different weight categories, Neeraj finally found her mojo in the 57 kg weight class. Since then it has been no looking back for the young wrestler.“In the 57 kg category, India Open was my first competition. In the camp I started in the 60 kg category. I had some issue with my weight, so I started competing in the 57 kg category,” said Neeraj.In the last 12 months, Neeraj won gold at the India Open and at the Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament in Russia. At the India Open, Neeraj notched up unexpected wins against two big names – Sonia Chahal and Manisha Moun. In the trials also, Neeraj punched above her weight to book a spot at the World Championships.“After the gold in Russia, my coaches, me and my family members expect me to perform well in World Championships.”Neeraj PhogatLike Sarita, Neeraj also has got a bye into the round of 32 and will be first seen in action on 5 October.Previous edition's bronze-medallist Lovlina Borgohain has moved up a division to 69kg this time. Borgohain, an India Open gold-medallist, has been seeded third and given a bye into the pre-quarterfinals.“I have worked on my weaknesses to learn how to deal with them. I am confident this time around. I will give my best to win a gold,” Lovlina told The Quint.The World Championships in Russia might not be a qualifying event for Tokyo 2020 but Lovlina knows the importance of the event.“The World Championships is not a qualifying event. After this we have an event in February which is a qualification event. If we win gold or silver here, we can directly qualify for the competition in China,” added Lovlina.“It is important to win medals in Russia to get selected in the qualifying event in China. For that reason, the World Championships is important.”Lovlina BorgohainFor Lovlina, Russia has been a happy hunting ground. In August, she too won a gold at the Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament in Russia. At the Championships, she will begin her campaign on 9 October.Meanwhile, India's best performance at the tournament was back in 2006 when the country, hosting the event, topped the medals tally with a haul of eight, including gold medals by Mary Kom and Sarita. We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.