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Boxing World Championships: Akash Kumar dedicates win to late parents

India's Akash Kumar (left) in action against Yoel Finol. (PC: BFI)
India's Akash Kumar (left) in action against Yoel Finol. (PC: BFI)
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India's Akash Kumar (54kg) stunned Rio Olympic silver medallist Yoel Finol of Venezuela in the quarter-finals at AIBA Menโ€™s Boxing World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. His win confirmed Indiaโ€™s first medal on Tuesday.

Akash Kumar started fearlessly and dominated throughout the bout, demonstrating exemplary courage and tactical nous at the right moments. With nimble footwork, long reach, accurate punching and terrific speed, he counter-attacked relentlessly in the initial rounds.

His opponent tried to assert himself in the final round. But Akash stayed out of his range, evaded punches and moved around the ring confidently to register a win and confirm India's first medal.

Read: Nikhat Zareen achieves preliminary goal in Hisar, now sets sights on Boxing World Championship

Speaking on the win and his strategy, Akash said the game plan was a mix of aggression and counter-attack in the bout. He said:

โ€œOur strategy was to be in an attacking mode to win the first round, and then in the next rounds, the aim was to counter-attack and keep the flurry of punches."
Moments of the eight day at the AIBA Men's World Boxing Championships in Belgrade ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธflic.kr/s/aHsmX83goE๐Ÿ“ธCheck the photos by the link in the story๐Ÿ‘†#AIBAWCHS2021 #boxing https://t.co/usAbFsQr8U

Akash Kumar dedicates win to late parents

Akash Kumar is the seventh Indian male boxer to win a medal at the World Championships. Past winners include Vijender Singh (Bronze, 2009 Milan), Vikas Krishan (Bronze, 2011 Baku), Shiva Thapa (Bronze, 2015 Doha), Gaurav Bidhuri (Bronze, 2017 Hamburg). Amit Panghal (Silver, 2019 Yekaterinburg) and Manish Kaushik (Bronze, 2019 Yekaterinburg) complete the esteemed list.

๐™Ž๐™‹๐™€๐˜พ๐™๐˜ผ๐˜พ๐™๐™‡๐˜ผ๐™ ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ’ฅ#AkashKumar (54 kg) secures 1st medal for ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ at the #MensWorldChampionships after he stunned the Rio olympics ๐Ÿฅˆ medalist ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ช's Yoel Finol to beat him unanimously in the QF ๐Ÿ’ช๐ŸปGo for ๐Ÿฅ‡ young man! ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป#PunchMeinHaiDum#boxing#aibawchs2021 https://t.co/fk6GPMipVk

Akash Kumar lost his mother to a lung infection in September while he was competing at the national championships in Bellary. The young Indian boxer dedicated the win to his mother and to his father, who passed away in 2010. He said:

โ€œThis medal means the world to me. I want to dedicate it to my parents. This is my first big tournament and I am extremely proud and emotional. I want to give absolutely everything to bring home the gold medal. I want to thank all my coaches and support staff who have helped me reach here.โ€

Akash Kumar will face Makhmud Sabyrkhan of Kazakhstan in the semi-final on Thursday.

Also read: Boxing Federation of India (BFI) to rejig coaching staff post-Belgrade World Championships


Edited by Aditya Singh
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