Bhagwan joins Lakra, Jitender in line for Olympic berth

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Chicago, Oct 29 (UNI) Jai Bhagwan punched his way to just a step away from an Olympic berth while Dilbag Singh fell by the wayside on the sixth day of the World Boxing Championship here.

Bhagwan brushed aside Georgian Vasil Qazishvili's challenge 23-16 in a 60 kg second round bout to set up a pre-quarter final date against Darley Perez of Colombia on Wedenesday.

Dilbag Singh, however, could not make it a double treat as he was outclassed 9-22 by Zoran Mitrovic of Serbia in 69kg second round fight at the University of Illinois- Chicago Pavilion yesterday.

Jitender Kumar (51kg) and Anthresh Lalit Lakra (57kg) had earlier stormed into the pre-quarter finals on Saturday.

Bhagwan was not outright superior but never allowed his Georgian opponent to fight him on equal terms. The Indian took a slender 4-3 lead at the end of the first round and was four points ahead (17-13) after the third.

The Haryana lad did not take it easy in the final round and sent a flurry of punches to score three more points from his opponent to walk away 23-16 winner.

For Dilbag, it was surrender after a brief resistance.

Dilbag started on a shaky note but hung on for a while.

At the end of the second round, the Indian was 3-6 down.

But in the last two rounds, Dilbag could not face his Serbian opponent's ferocious offensive and conceded 16 points in the last two rounds to his six to surrender tamely.

Eight Indians took part in the biggest ever boxing championship and three have moved into the round of 16.

They are just one bout away from booking a berth in next year's Olympics.

Making it to quarter-finals of the championship would be enough for the Indians to secure a berth for Beijing.

Vijender Singh (75kg) exited from the Championship in the second round while Balbir Singh (48kg), Jasveer Singh (81kg)and Suresh Singh (54kg) had crashed out in the first round.

More than 650 top pugilists from 120 countries are vying for honours in the championship, making it the largest ever boxing championships.

UNI

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