Three Indian boxers qualify for Olympics

March 23rd, 2008 - 7:31 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) Three Indian boxers - Vijender, Dinesh Kumar and Jitender - booked their place in the 2008 Beijing Olympics during the Asian qualifiers in Astana, Kazakhstan. Doha Asian Games bronze medallist Vijender (75 kg) and Dinesh (81 kg) won their semi-final bouts to qualify for the mega-event.

Jitender (51) became the latest to qualify after winning the third place play-off match against Castro Godfrey of Philippines Sunday.

With the three, the number of Indian boxers qualifying for the Olympics has gone up to five. Earlier A.L. Lakra (57kg) and Akhil Kumar (54kg) ensured their berths.

“In the semi-finals, Vijender defeated Iran’s 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 outscored Mandakhbayar of 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.

Another pugilist Dilbagh Singh (69kg) - is also in contention to qualify for the games.

Dilbagh will have to win his final bout against a Turkmenistani. Only the gold medallist in this category will qualify for Beijing Games.

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

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