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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vijender Kumar assured of medal


Vijender Kumar made history by becoming the first Indian pugilist to enter the semifinals in Olympics.

Boxer Vijender Kumar provided a tremendous finish to a memorable day for India by ensuring a medal in the middleweight class, with an authoritative 9-4 victory over Carlos Gongora of Ecuador in the quarterfinals at the Workers’ Gymnasium here on Wednesday night.

It was a perfect finish to a day when India ensured two medals, after the one in wrestling through Sushil Kumar, when it was desperately looking for one medal to add to the gold won by Abhinav Bindra.




Vijender is easily the best boxer in the Indian contingent, and he had shown his class in the Asian Games in Doha, where he was unlucky not to get anything better than a bronze.

It was a delight to watch Vijender in action this day, as he weaved his way past the punches of his opponent and landed his decisive blows right from the start to keep the score going in his favour.

The key to the success was the 22-year-old Bhiwani boxer being unruffled and getting off to a good start, when he opened with a sharp right and followed that with a combination that fetched him two points in the first round.

Into the second round, Vijender continued with his good work, and was using his left with great effect to gain valuable points. It was 4-1 for Vijender at the end of the second round. What clinched the issue was how Vijender kept the marauding Ecuadorian who was tipped by the pundits as one of the favourites in the event, at a distance.

Vijender ran up a 7-2 lead by the end of the third round, by piercing the defence of the opponent, including once through a left uppercut.

Into the fourth and final round, Vijender led 8-2 and got punched a couple of times to concede points, but he cracked a right to take a 9-4 lead. In the last 30 seconds, Vijender just teased his opponent with a bit of back-pedalling and made sure that no surprise punch spoilt his and the country’s moment of glory.

“I am really happy to win a medal for India. All credit goes to my coaches and my parents, especially my father who went to a far-away temple to pray for my success. Since my teammates Akhil (Kumar) and Jitender (Kumar) had lost, I was keen to win a medal,” said Vijender, quite overwhelmed with his effort.

Courtesy : www.hindu.com

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