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Redemption hope for Akhil

Beijing Olympic Games quarterfinalist, Akhil Kumar, who failed to make it to the podium at the Commonwealth Championship as well as the Games last year, is all set to be included in the 10-member squad for the World Championships, scheduled in Baku, Azerbaijan, from September 22. Saurabh Duggal reports.

other Updated: Aug 17, 2011 23:25 IST
Saurabh Duggal

Beijing Olympic Games quarterfinalist, Akhil Kumar, who failed to make it to the podium at the Commonwealth Championship as well as the Games last year, is all set to be included in the 10-member squad for the World Championships, scheduled in Baku, Azerbaijan, from September 22. The team will be announced on Thursday.

The event assumes significance as it is the first major qualifying event for the London Olympics.

"Akhil fought well during the trials and deserves a chance to prove his worth again. We are hopeful he'll make use of the opportunity," said an Indian Boxing Federation official.

Beijing bronze medallist, Vijender Singh (75kg), will lead the Indian challenge. He had won bronze at the last edition of the world meet.

Barring the 49kg and 64kg, there are no major changes likely in the squad. Vikas Krishan, who won gold at the Asian Games last year in 60kg, will compete in his new weight category, 69kg.

In 49kg, the selection committee is in a fix to choose between Asian Championship silver medallist, Amandeep Singh, and the Army Sports Institute's Devindro, who stunned everyone in the trials.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Paramjeet Samota, who had moved to 91kg after the Asian Games, most likely will return to his original weight category (+91kg) for the World Championships.

Samota had bagged a bronze in 91kg at the recent Asian Championship, but lost to Manpreet Singh during the trials. It was then decided to consider Samota for the +91kg trials and he eventually got a berth in his original weight category.