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Vijender, Jitender assure India of two more boxing medals

Written by: Staff
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Melbourne, Mar 22 (UNI) Vijender and Jitender Kumar ensured two more boxing medals for India by storming into the semifinals of the 69 kg and 51 kg category events with facile wins in the Commonwealth Games here tonight.

As per the rules, both the losing semifinalists win a bronze as there is no playoff for the third place.

Apart from Vijender and Jitender Kumar, three other boxers -- Harpreet Singh, Akhil Kumar and Verghese Johnson -- have made it to the semifinals, thus assuring the country of five medals from this competition.

In the 69 kg bout, 21-year-old Haryana-based boxer Vijender hammered his rival Andrew Kristofer Carslaw of Scotland and it was a bloody bout in which Vijender, using his height and powerful punches, punished the Scotman.

Carslaw had poor defence and even poorer technique and he was thoroughly outpunched by the Indian.

The punishment was so severe that Carslaw could get only one point as against 14 garnered by Vijender. The Indian showed no mercy to his rival in the second round and as the thrashing became severe, referee intervened and stopped the contest and at that stage Vijender was leading 10-3.

Earlier, Jitender Kumar outpointed Lechedzani Louza of Botswana in an eventful 51 kg bout.

The two pugilists shared lead in two rounds, one was even and it was in the last round that the Indian boxer made the kill by winning it.

Both the boxers started on a cautious note and took time to gauge each other. Jitender, however, landed some good punches to lead the first round 4-2. Luza fought well in the second round which ended at 3-3. It was the turn of the Botswana pugilist to win the third 6-5 as Jitender opened his defence and allowed his rival land punches on him.

The fourth round was a tense affair with both the boxers trying to earn point while keeping a safe distance from each other.

However, the Indian turned out to be the faster and more agile of thw two and had made more contacts to win the round 5-4 and emerge victorious 17-15.

He will face Don Gareth Broadhurst of England in the semifinal, while Vijender's rival in the semifinal will be Darren Edwards of Wales.

However, the third Indian in the fray, Diwakar Prasad lost his 57kg bout against Stephen Francis Smith of England.

Smith proved too strong for Diwakar and the Indian, after getting battered in three rounds 6-2, 10-3 and 4-0, was rescued by the referee who stopped the contest midway through the third round.

Diwakar was much relieved by referee's decision.

UNI HSB AY VC1748

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