Manoj Kumar knocked out of London Olympics

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London Olympics
London, Aug 5: India's Manoj Kumar bowed out of the Olympic Games in a controversial manner after he went down to Britain's George Stalker in men's light welter weight (64) kg category at the ExCel Arena here today.

The 26-year-old Manoj Kumar fought well but appeared to be distinctly unlucky not to get points as the British boxer managed a 20-16 victory to move into the quarter finals.

Stalker won the first round 7-4 and maintained his lead by winning the second round 9-5. The Indian then launched an all out attack in the third and last round which he claimed 7-4 but some debatable judging ultimately saw him leave the arena disappointed.

The Indian camp understandably was furious with the decision and strongly felt that the Indian was at the receiving end of some dubious point calls.

Manoj felt that he should have been declared the winner and the Indians, who have already lodged two appeals so far, may contemplate doing so again.

"This is a district tournament, it's not an Olympic tournament. Cheating, cheating, cheating," a livid Manoj Kumar said after the bout. Indian coach Blas Iglesias Fernandez said Manoj won the third round but he should have won the other two rounds as well as he fought in the same manner.

National coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu said, "My athlete was extraordinary. You saw for yourself what happened. Why don't you write what you want?" Stalker, on the other hand, said he was happy with the result but felt he did not box as well as he could.

"All I wanted to do was fight. In my next bout I know I will do better. I felt sluggish after the first round. Being in my hotel for the last week hasn't done me any good," Stalker said.

"I just wanted to get the first fight out of the way. The fans got me through it. Being an Olympian is special. It was a tough fight and I felt I didn't really box too well but a win is a win," he said.

"I felt like I needed to move my feet a bit more. The last round was not good. I think I went a bit more negative in the last round when I could have been more positive."

On his opponent questioning the judges' decision, he said, "I have had fights when I thought I had won by more than I eventually won by. I just leave it to the judges. I would like to thank everyone who supported me."

The Indians have been at the wrong side of judges at the ongoing Games, losing a protest filed against Sumit Sangwan's (81kg) first-round exit.

Later, Vikas Krishan (69kg) was ousted despite being declared a winner initially after his American opponent won an appeal against his triumph.

PTI

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