A brilliant Sachin Singh reversed the trend of Indian boxers losing to Cubans by getting the better of Jorge Grinan Merencio of Cuba 5-0 en route to clinching the gold medal at the AIBA Youth World Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia on Saturday.
The historic win makes the 17-year-old just the third Indian to grab the yellow metal at this prestigious tournament, joining Thokchom Nanao Singh (49kg in 2008) and Vikas Krishan (60kg in 2010).
The lanky Bhiwani pugilist was in control of the proceedings right from the start. Putting his height and pace to good use, the teenager delivered some sharp left jabs that the Cuban could give no answer to.
India thus finish their campaign with one gold and one bronze which is a big leap from the solitary bronze medal they managed to secure in the last edition in 2014. Naman Tanwar (91kg) was the one who added the bronze this time. He fell to Cuban Dainier Pero in the last-four stage on Friday.
Sachin had been on the rise for some time now and had already proved his credentials last year by being the only Indian to bring home a medal – a bronze – from the World Junior Boxing Championships. Performing at the big stage comes to him naturally which is why the youngster was confident going into today’s encounter and was very eager to exact revenge for his fellow Indian boxers.
“Two of my fellow Indian boxers had lost to Cubans earlier in the tournament, I wanted to extract revenge and I am glad I could do it. It is very satisfying to beat stronger and better rivals, especially if it happens to be a Cuban,” Sachin told PTI.
He called the achievement a ‘huge moment’ in his career and pointed out that he won because he did not allow his stronger rival to trap him in his strategy.
“It is a huge moment in my career. I fought five bouts in this tournament and I am glad I could give a performance like this. The Cuban was also good but it’s just that he could not trap me in his strategy. I never allowed him to get close to me.”
The newly-formed Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has already announced a Rs. 1 lakh reward for the golden boy while Naman too will be given a Rs. 25,000 cash award.