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Vijender packs a lethal punch

other Updated: Oct 09, 2010 02:25 IST
HT Correspondent

When Vijender Singh's name was announced on the PA system, the packed stadium erupted. Among the audience was Rahul Gandhi. Such is his popularity in this part of the world.

Vijender's feet movement was so rhythmic that it resembled a waltz. His hands were moving like well-oiled pistons and his fists finding target with monotonous regularity. When in such cracking form, the Olympic bronze-medallist is unstoppable. With the capacity crowd behind him, Vijender needed just one round and 2 more minutes to force the referee stop contest against Nigeria Dick Ombaka while leading 16-1. There are a couple of moments that defined his dominance. When boxers play a close-guarded game, it's usually difficult to score. But Vijender somehow managed to squeeze his punches through the clenched-fist defence.

The 24-year-old boxer stepped into the ring with purpose. Starting the bout with his usual flair, hitting straight, attacking the opponent's face, he found chinks in the Nigerian's defence and exploited it to the hilt. "I have been training very hard and want to win gold," said the Melbourne Games silver-medallist.

Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Dilbagh Singh (69kg) and Paramjit Samota won their bouts.