Jitender, Bhagwan fail to emulate Lakra, out of World Boxing Champ

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Chicago, Nov. 1 (UNI) Jitender Kumar and Jai Bhagwan failed to qualify for Beijing Olympics after losing their pre-quarter final bouts in the World Boxing Championships here.

Jitender bite the dust 9-14 against Georgy Balakshin of Russia in 51kg while Bhagwan was outplayed 7-16 by Darely Perez of Colombia in 60kg at the University of Illinois- Chicago Pavilion yesterday, putting paid to India's hopes of securing as many berths as possible for Beijing Olympics.

With the duo's exit, Anthresh Lalit Lakra remained the only Indian in the fray, having qualified for Beijing after reaching the quarter-finals. He takes on Yang Li of China in the round of eight.

Making it to quarterfinals of the Championship -- the largest ever in history -- is enough to secure a berth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Jitender began on equal terms against his Russian opponent but paid the price for a sloppy show in the second round. Tied 1-1 at the end of first round, Jitender was trailing 3-6 after the second.

He tried to fight back in the next two rounds but to no avail with the Russian never loosening his grip over the Indian with some solid punches to take 3-2 and 5-4 scores in the third and final rounds and walk away 14-9 victorious.

If Jitender fought till the last, Bhagwan's was surrender in the last two rounds after clinging on in the first two.

The Indian never looked like beating his opponent from the very beginning but did not lose hope till the end of second round though by that time he was trailing 4-6.

A disappointing third round, in which he failed to score any point to his opponent's three, did the Indian in with the gap in score line widening to 4-9.

His last ditch effort in the final round also came to a nought as his Colombian opponent went for the kill instead of playing defensive.

The Colombian unleashed a volley of punches to take seven points to the Indian's three in the final round to emerge 16-7 victorious and a berth for Beijing.

Eight Indians had taken part in the Championship and seven have crashed out.

Before Jitender and Bhagwan, five Indians had already crashed out of the Championship.

Vijender Singh (75kg) and Dilbag Singh (69kg) had 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 pugilists from 120 countries took part in the championship, making it the largest ever boxing championships.


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