Tough loss for Akhil
It was a bittersweet day for the Indian boxers at the Seonhak Gymnasium on Friday. Big medal hope Akhil Kumar waged a grim battle against Philippines’ Charly Suarez before going down in the pre-quarterfinals of the middleweight category (60-kg). The 33-year-old Indian had the opening round in his bag before the Philippines pugilist came into his own securing crucial points to take the deciding round right down to the wire. Suarez landed some solid punches in the closing stages to win the day.
Another Indian boxer Amritpreet Singh also bowed out in the pre-quarterfinals losing to Korea’s Park Namhyeong narrowly in the light heavyweight category (81-kg). Like Akhil’s bout, the Korean won by the skin of his teeth.
Earlier in the day, Shiva Thapa and Kuldeep Singh stormed into the quarterfinals of their respective weight categories Shiva Thapa – wearing the red attire was at his ferocious best as he made mincemeat of Pakistan’s Nadir in a ridiculously one-sided bantamweight (56-kg) bout. Shiva, who was youngest Indian to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics and had a disappointing first round exit in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, will have a two-day break and will play his quarterfinal bout on Monday.
Plenty of hope left with Indians still in fray
Another Indian Kuldeep Singh outboxed Thailand’s Anavat Thongkrathok in the light heavyweight (81-kg) bout to move one step closer to making a podium finish. He next plays Iran’s Ehsan Rouzbahani in the quarterfinals and like Shiva has a two-day break as his bout is also on Monday. Laishram Devendro is already through to the second round of the light flyweight category (46-49-kg).
Indian boxers will be looking to put on a stellar performance after capping a splendid effort at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where they won five medals including four silver medals and a bronze – they created history as for the first time four Indians reached the final of the Commonwealth Games.
2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallist Mandeep Jangra will play in the welterweight category (69-kg), while Gautam Bhiduri will feature in the flyweight category (52-kg). 2010 Asiad gold medallist Vikas Krishnan will play in the middleweight category (75-kg), Satish Kumar will fight in the super heavyweight category (+91-kg). MC Mary Kom, L Sarita Devi and Pooja Rani are the three women boxers in the fray.Published 26 Sep 2014, 18:47 IST