By Ravi Kant Singh, IANS
Hyderabad : India are sure of five medals in the boxing competition as the home pugilists advanced to the semi-finals at the G.M.C. Balayogi Indoor Stadium in the 4th Military World Games here Thursday.
The Indians had nine boxers in the quarter-finals out of a possible 11 and five of them won through to make sure of winning at least a bronze, much to the delight of the wildly cheering armed forces contingent in the stadium.
Hari Krishan Belwal (51 kg), P. Narjit Singh (54 kg), Satya Raju (57 kg), D. Bhagyarajan (69 kg) and Mohinder Thapa (81 kg) all won their respective bouts to give India the richest haul from any single event at the games.
The most impressive winner was Bhagyarajan who faced Rinat Karimov of Germany, coming from behind against a much taller opponent to emerge a clear winner on points. The Indian was a good eight inches shorter than the German and was a bit confused how to attack in the opening round and trailed 4-5.
Armed with a new strategy after the recess, Bhagyarajan suddenly began pounding his opponent from all directions leaving the German bewildered. The Indian built up an 11-7 lead by the end of the second round and never looked back.
“He was so tall I could not reach his head. So my coach told me to cover my head and go for quick attack. I did that and won my bout easily,” said Bhagyarajan, a 23-14 winner.
Mohinder Thapa also fought a gallant bout against Matkovie Matej of Croatia, winning 25-19.
The 30-year-old Indian in probably his last tournament was never behind but had to be on guard against his opponent’s rushing tactics. But the southpaw was never overawed and kept his cool to emerge a clear winner.
“I am already 30 years old. So I desperately want to win the gold before I retire from boxing,” said an emotional Thapa, waving to the wildly cheering men in the stands.
Among the losers were A.L. Lakra (57 kg), Thoi Thoi Singh (60 kg), Manpreet Singh (91 kg) and Mehar Singh (over 91 kg).
Lakra is headed for Chicago next week for the world boxing championships and seemed to be holding back in order to avoid any injury and miss a chance to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He paid the price for his safety first tactics was his Tunisian opponent Shili Alee scored with rapid attacks and then stepped away quickly.
Much was also expected from Thoi Thoi Singh but faced with a much quicker M. Bahodir from Uzbekistan, the Indian was all at sea and went down 10-16.
Sergey Kazakov (Rus) bt Song Guk Sung (DPR) 17-9
Gao Liang (Chn) bt Montaser (Tun) 21-4
Gu Seung Hyeok (Kor) bt Artyom Dalakyan (Ukr) 10-8
Shariyor Isakov (Uzb) bt Ibrahim Sahraoui (Alg) 25-16
Hari Krishan Belwal (Ind) bt Jong Chol Bak (DPR) 11-5
Gao Lin Zhi (Chn) bt Hafid Bouji (Ger) 23-9
John Franklin (USA) bt Rahmonbek Toshmatov (Uzb) 12-9
Lee Dong Won (Kor) bt Abdoul Khatimov (Rus) 9-8
Marcel Schneider (Ger) bt Hasan Toto Alsadig (Sud) 25-2
Chol Jin Ryom (DPR) bt Jehad Alzubi (Jor) 22-3
Jang Kwan Sik (Kor) bt Alexis Rumos (USA) 12-5
P. Narjit Singh (Ind) bt Ulugbek Holmuratov (Uzb) 12-8
Shili Alee (Tun) br A.L. Lakra (Ind) 15-10
Abdugaffor Umarov (Uzb) bt David Kasina (Ken) RSC (Injury) II Round
Illya Gyravel (Ukr) bt Alessio Disavino (Ita) 7-5
Andrei Strelkov (Rus) bt Namik Guseynov (Aze) 20-5
Jong Hyon Wang (DPR) bt Sartiel Kapepo (Nam) RSC (OS – outscored) II Round
Sandro Schaer (Ger) bt Kim Ji Ho (Kor) 16-15
Luca Melis (Ita) bt Abdowlaye Keita (Gui) 18-11
M. Bahodir (Uzb) bt Thoi Thoi Singh (Ind) 16-10
Alexei Zubok (Rus) bt Moses Kopo (Les) Retires II Round
Samuel Masrtinez (USA) bt Baony Abdallah (Jor) 11-4
Satya Raju (Ind) bt Miguel Cobo (Ecu) 16-10
Yauheni Ramashekvich (Blr) bt Precious Makina (Zam) 22-10
Tofig Ahmadov (Aze) bt Choaib Oussaci (Alg) 23-12
Carsten H. Sorensen (Den) bt Vitali Kuzmiruk (Blr) 23-11
D. Bhagyarajan (Ind) Rinat Karimov (Ger) 23-14
H. Rawshan (Uzb) bt Dmitry Ivanov (Rus) 24-22
Shved Danil (Rus) bt Nabil Kassel (Alg) 19-7
Stefan Haertel (Ger) bt Cepo Ante (Cro) 21-13
Sharof Husanov (Uzb) bt Anor Jouini (Tun) 16-2
Mikalai Vesialov (Blr) bt Naba Husam (Qat) 15-5
Aleh Dymakavets (Blr) bt Suleman Abdul Raheem Ahmad (Jor) 21-9
Mohinder Thapa (Ind) bt Matkovie Matej (Cro) 25-19
Lodovico Orsini (Ita) bt B Abdelheid (Alg) RSC (H – Head) II Round
Serguei Kovalov (Rus) bt Zaur Tymurov (Aze) RSC (OS) III Round
Elyorbek Gulomov (Uzb) bt Yao Wei (Chn) 17-10
Musalchi Magomedov (Rus) bt Manpreet Singh (Ind) 19-13
Joe Guzman (USA) bt Malual Ring (Sud) 27-3
Inbraheem Al Zaabi (UAE) bt Marius Matukas (Ltu) RSC (Injury) I Round
Erkan Teper (Ger) bt Mehar Singh (Ind) 18-3
Sergei Pletosu (Rus) bt Sardor Abdullayev (Uzb) 25-16
Benaissa Boudia (Alg) bt Stasunas Gidrius (Ltu) 13-3
Andrew Shepherd (USA) bt Mustafa Khaled (Qat) 16-2