We will win medal for Akhil: Jitender

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{image-Vijender Kumar_19082008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Beijing, Aug 19: Having lost a medal which most thought was within India's grasp, prediction is the last thing coach G S Sandhu would want to make about tomorrow's quarterfinal bouts involving Vijender Kumar and Jitender Kumar in the Olympic boxing competition.

The unexpected defeat of high profile Akhil Kumar at the hands of little known pugilist Veaceslav Gojan from Moldova has made the Indians circumspect and suddenly that swagger and overconfidence has given way to more mellowed introspection. ''I just can't comment about tomorrow's bouts,'' a much chastened Sandhu said . ''What we thought was ours we lost (yesterday) so I can't say about the next bouts but I only hope that we will win two medals.''

The coach was of the view that boxing at the Olympics is a totally different ball game. It is difficult to predict but he added that Vijender is very upbeat and confident about his bout against Ecuador's Carlos Gongora.

''Jatinder was upset at Akhil's defeat but now he has overcome that and is ready to face Russian Georgy Balashin,'' the coach informed.

''There is no question of underestimating Carlos,'' Sandhu said and asserted that even yesterday Akhil Kumar had not taken Gojan lightly.

''At this level one just cannot underestimate his opponent and as far as Carlos is considered he has been put in the sleeper category by the experts.

''Those pugilists whose are put in the sleeper category are considered capable of creating an upset or two at this level of competitions,'' he added.

The 23-year-old Vijender has been in impressive form this year.

He is hopeful of breaking the jinx and bagging a medal for the country.

With a move from lightwelter to the middleweight category and a morale-boosting points win over Athens Olympic's best boxer Bakhtiyar Artigev at the AIBA Presidents Cup under his belt, the Indian is confident that his second Olympic will be fruitful.

He and South Korean Deok Jin Cho made the Olympic grade at the Asian qualifiers held in Kazakhstan.

''The win over Olympic champion Artigev has given me a tremendous morale boost,'' the strapping boxer, who has used his fast hands and sharp reflexes, quickly and decisively in the ring, said.

Vijender has studied his rival's style of boxing and he feels that he can get past Carlos in the 75 kg (middle weight) category.

''I have not played against him, but he seems to be a decent fighter, We are of same height and that will make the bout interesting.'' The Indian said he is no way underestimating his rival,''Look, so many World and Olympic champions have lost here so it is difficult to judge the rival before the bout.

''Carlos has won a title this year in a tournament in Romania and has recorded two easy victories on his way to the quarterfinals here.'' Jitender, however, faces a much tougher rival in Geory Balakshin.

The Indian had also lost to him early this year but tomorrow is another day and bout.

After his victory in the second round, Jitender had said that he has to settle scores with the Russian. ''Now I want to win for Akhil.'' Jatinder's mentor Akhil exuded confident that India will win two medals,''Vijender and Jetender will give all they have to win medals.''

UNI

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