Brave Jitender goes down fighting; medal hopes shattered

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Beijing, Aug 20 (UNI) It was so near and yet so far for Jitender Kumar who failed to cross the last hurdle as he was out-pointed by Georgy Balakshin of Russia in the flyweight (51kg) event of the boxing competition at the Olympics here today.

Jitender was close to his Russian counterpart till the second round but Balakshin out punched the Indian 2-1, 5-5, 6-2, 2-3 to win the bout 15-11.

Both the boxers started the bout with looking for chances but the Russian succeeded to take a 2-0 lead which was reduced to 2-1 by Jitender.

In the second round, Jitender and Balakshin matched each other punch for punch as the two boxers were in their top gear and both launched a flurry of uppercuts and jabs and eventually settled for a 5-5 score.

However, the third round put the Russian in the driver's seat as he took a crucial 6-2 lead against the Indian who was searching for chances but failed to find them just when it mattered.

Finding himself in the safe zone, the Russian was keen to defend and not give Jitender any space to make a match out of it.

Jitender did manage to win the final round 3-2 but it was a case of too little too late as the with the loss, India's second hope in boxing was shattered.

UNI HSB RAR HT1725

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