Akhil, Vijender to lead charge in World Boxing Championship


New Delhi : Olympic Games 2008 bronze medallist Vijender Singh and Akhil Kumar have been selected in the 10-member Indian boxing team for the World Boxing Championship, first Olympic qualification tournament, at Baku, Azerbaijan, from Sep 22.

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The top ten boxers in each weight category will qualify for the 2012 London Olympics except heavy and super heavy category where only six will qualify. The second and final Olympic qualification tournament for Asia will be held in Kazakhstan in March 2012.

Devendro Singh, the national youth champion, has been the surprise inclusion in the team. He defeated Asian Championship silver medallist Amandeep Singh and former youth World Champion Nanao Singh to stake a claim for the light fly weight.

In the 56 kg category, there was tough fight for selection among 2008 Olympic quarterfinalist and 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar, Youth Olympics 2010 silver medallist Shiva Thapa, national champion Chhote Lal Yadav, and former Olympic quarterfinalist Jitender Kumar.

However, it was Akhil who got the nod from the selectors because of his experience.

In 75 kg Vijender, and in 81 kg Dinesh Kumar emerged winners. In 69 kg, Asian Games 2010 gold medallist Vikas Krishan did not have much opposition.

In 91 kg, Asian Games silver medallist Manpreet Singh defeated 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Asian Games 2010 bronze medallist Paramjeet Samota.

Samota then gave his trials in the +91 kg category where he comfortably defeated Arun Hooda, Ram Singh, Manjeet and Narender.

The Indian team will leave for a training camp in France Sep 10-21 before their participation in the World Championships at Baku.

Team: L. Devendro Singh (49 kg), Suranjoy Singh (52 kg), Akhil Kumar (56 kg), Jai Bhagwan (60 kg), Manoj Kumar (64 kg), Vikas Krishan (69 kg), Vijender Singh (75 kg), Dinesh Kumar (81 kg), Manpreet Singh (91 kg), and Paramjeet Samota (+91).