Well begun is half done, but if the Indian boxers continue to land those ferocious upper-cuts, gaining the upper hand against their opponents in the semifinals of the AIBA Junior World Championships on Friday should not be mission impossible.
If Sandeep Singh (46kg), Namit Bhadur (50kg), Vikas Khatri (54kg) and Shiva Thapa (52) make it to the title-clash of the quadrennial event in Yerevan, Armenia, they will better last year’s record — two gold and a silver medal.
Sandeep is set to face Uzbekistan’s Javlonbek Eshmatov, Namit will be up against Talgat Bertlevuov of Kazakhstan, Vikas meets Cuba’s Emesto Yunior and former junior world champion Shiva takes on Yerbolat Seidalliye of Kazakhstan.
“I told the boys that tomorrow is D-day for them and they should go all out. I said we have nothing to lose as we are already in the medal round,” coach MS Dhaka told the HT from Yerevan. “They should fight without any pressure because whatever we gain tomorrow onwards will be a bonus,” he added.
Pleased with his boys’ performance, the coach said: “We’ve had a wonderful outing till now and I am hopeful that the boys will continue to perform well. We had fielded an eight-member squad out of which four are in the medal round. This is a big achievement.”
Dhaka also praised the efforts of the boxers who missed out. “Those who lost in the quarterfinals and preliminary round fought well and the bouts were close,” he said.
Yogeshwar to visit SA for surgery Wrestler Yogeshwar dutt, who made it to the quarterfinals of the Beijing Olympics, would undergo a surgery for his right-knee ligament injury in South Africa.
The wrestler will leave on Saturday.
“I will be staying in South Africa for about four months because I will undergo rehabilitation and physiotherapy after the surgery. Hopefully, I will be back on the mat in October,” said Dutt.
“I am thankful to the Mittal Champions Trust which is sponsoring my entire stay and surgery in South Africa.”
The Haryana wrestler had injured his knee during the Asian Championship trials last month.