Boxer Jitender goes down valiantly to European Champion

August 20th, 2008 - 7:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 20 (IANS) Belying hopes of an Olympic medal, boxer Jitender Kumar went down fighting to European Champion Georgy Balakshin of Russia 11-15 in the quarterfinals of the flyweight (51kg) category at the Games here Wednesday.Watched by his idol Akhil Kumar, Jitender gave one of the most aggressive performances of his career and even came back into the match after trailing 1-2 in the first round.

The second round was evenly fought and Jitender reduced the margin to 6-7. The third round, however, turned out to be a crucial one for the 20-year-old Indian, who found himself at the receiving end of the Russian’s punches. After the third round, Balakshin took a huge lead of 13-8.

In the last round, Jitender fought valiantly but the Russian, who was enjoying a lead of five points, employed a defensive tactics and finally won the bout to sail into the semifinals.

“Balakshin is a very experienced boxer but Jitender fought very well and it turned out to be a very close match,” said Akhil.

Jitender would have won a medal had he won the bout because both the losing semifinalists are awarded bronze medals in boxing at the Olympics.

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