Boxer Akhil qualifies for Beijing Olympics

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Banglok, Feb 2: Commonwealth Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar capped a remarkable comeback from a career threatening injury lay-off by becoming the second Indian boxer to qualify for Beijing Olympics through the Asian Qualifying Tournament here.

The 27-year-old bantam weight pugilist, who was laid low by a wrist injury that took away more than half of his 2007 season, continued with his devastating form here and advanced to the finals of the first Asian Qualifying event which booked him a Beijing berth. Akhil out-scored his People's Republic of Korea opponent Ryom Chol Jin in the semifinal bout.

"I was very nervous before the bout because Olympic qualification was on the line. But a bit of tension always works to my advantage and that is precisely what happened today," Akhil told.

Akhil, also an Asian Championship bronze medallist, will face his biggest test in the tournament when he takes on Athens Olympics silver medallist Worapoj Petchkoom of Thailand in the final tomorrow.

"It is a huge match for me but I have nothing to lose now. I have achieved what I wanted to from the tournament, but I would try to win the gold medal as that is the ultimate," an ecstatic Akhil said.

OneIndia News

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