Boxer Akhil goes down in Olympic quarters (Lead)August 18th, 2008 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, Aug 18 (IANS) India’s hopes for its first ever Olympic boxing medal from bantamweight (54kg) competitor Akhil Kumar evaporated with the pugilist going down 3-10 to Moldovan Veaceslav Gojan the quarterfinals at the Games here Monday.A win away from a medal, the Indian seemed to have reached a dead end against Gojan, who displayed oddles of patience and adopted a calculated defensive ploy to sail into the semi final.
Akhil, who warmed the hearts of the Indian contingent as also the sports lovers back home with a victory over world champion Sergey Vodopyanov of Russia in the pre-quarters Friday, lost the last eight bout unable to break through the solid defence of Gojan.
The Moldovan seemed to have stepped into the ring after a detailed homework on Akhil, known for his attacking instincts, and time and again skilfully parried the Indian’s punches before going on sudden counter-attacks.
A frustrated Akhil tried to entice his rival by dropping guard in the second round, but Gojan never deviated from his nicely thought-out script besides back-pedalling well every time Akhil let loose a punch.
Akhil also seemed unlucky not to have been awarded a couple of points by the referee, which widened the gap between the two boxers.
However, Akhil seemed composed even after the loss. “If I can celebrate victory, then I should have the heart to take defeat also”.