Indian boxers Vijender, Dinesh qualify for Olympics

March 23rd, 2008 - 1:20 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) Ace Indian boxers Vijender (75 kg category) and Dinesh Kumar (81 kg) have qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) has announced. The IABF said the two boxers made it to the Aug 8-24 games after reaching the finals in a qualifying tournament in Astana, Kazakhstan, Saturday.

With the two, the number of Indians qualifying for the Olympics in the sport has gone up to four. Earlier A.L. Lakra (57 kg) and Akhil Kumar (54 kg) ensured their berths.

“In the semi-finals, Vijender defeated his opponent from Iran (Amiri Homayon) 19-13. Vijender trailed by one point in the first round, two points in the second and one point in the third round. However, in the fourth round he played intelligently to emerge a clear winner by six points,” IABF secretary general Muralidharan Raja said in a statement.

“Dinesh was magnificent as he outscored his opponent from Mongolia in the third round.”

Vijender will clash with South Korean Cho Deok Jin and Dinesh will meet Ghorbani Mehdi of Iran in the title round in Astana.

Two more Indians - Jitender (51 kg) and Dilbagh Singh (69 kg) - are in line to qualify for the games although they have had mixed results in Kazakhstan.

Dilbagh won his semi-final bout against his Japanese opponent despite a cut he sustained in the first round. He has to win the final bout against his Turkmenistani rival because only the gold medallist will qualify.

Jitender, on the other hand, lost to his Kazakhstan opponent but he still has a chance in the 51 kg category because the third-place playoff winner will also qualify for Beijing.

Manoj (64 kg) and Pravin (91-plus kg) lost their semi-final bouts and crashed out of the qualifying race.

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