Jalandhar/New Delhi, August 22 : Middleweight boxer Vijender Kumar, who secured India's first boxing medal lost his semifinal bout at the Beijing Olympics on Friday, but people back home are rejoicing over his bronze medal winning performance.
Vijender, who began the bout on a defensive note salvaged some pride by punching for five points, only to lessen the margin of loss to three points as his Cuban opponent Emilio Correa outplayed him by scoring eight points to advance to the middleweight final of the Olympic boxing competition.
Expressing grief over his loss boxing coach of Khalsa College, Jalandhar Virender Kumar, said that his performance would give fillip to the younger lot to strive for better.
"We are sad that he lost this match but his performance has been commendable. His performance will certainly boost the moral of other boxers," said Virender.
Chief Minister of Haryana Bhupender Singh Hooda lauded the performance of Kumar and other players hailing from the state.
"The players from Haryana have staged a splendid performance in the Olympics. Four players from Haryana have made to the quarterfinals. Vijender Kumar reached semifinal stage. I saw his bout today. He has displayed a highly skilled performance," said Hooda.
Vijender Kumar became the first ever-Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal. His performance also boosted India's tally in Beijing Olympics to three as shooter Abhinav Bindra won gold in 10m air rifle event and wrestler Sushil Kumar who bagged bronze.