Jitender goes Akhil way, misses medal by whisker | india | Hindustan Times
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Jitender goes Akhil way, misses medal by whisker

india Updated: Aug 20, 2008 18:16 IST
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Akhil Kumar could only watch haplessly from outside as his protege Jitender too faltered when it mattered the most and missed the Olympic medal by a whisker, losing his quarterfinal bout in the 51kg event in Beijing on Wednesday.

Braveheart Jitender, who entered the ring with 10 stitches on his chin necessitated by a cut he had received in his previous match, threw everything at his experienced Russian rival Georgy Balakshin but the European champion maintained his superiority throughout four rounds to win the tie 15-11.

The seasoned Russian pugilist also had a better idea of when to engage and when to evade which gave him an edge throughout against Jitender.

After a rather sedate opening round which the Russian led 2-1, both started breathing fire and unleashed flurry of punches to share 10 points but Jitender simply lost the plot in the third round.

The Indian, much like mentor Akhil, who was doing the second's job, dropped his guard and went all out with Balakshin refusing to fall for the subterfuge and managing to land an occasional blow on the Indian.

Balakshin knocked down an off-balance Akhil to race to 13-8 lead and though the Indian benefited from two penalty points after being pushed, by then the writing was clear on the wall.

"I'm sorry I could not win the medal but I tried my best," rues Jitender, blood dripping from the cut he had received in the chin.