Vijender Loses Semi-final, Settles for Bronze in Olympics


Beijing, Aug 22: Indian boxer Vijender Kumar settled for a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics after being out-punched by Cuban Emilio Correa Bayeaux in the semi-finals of the 75 kg category in Beijing  on Friday.

The 22-year-old was simply out-thought by his Cuban rival who negated the height and reach advantage of Vijender by fighting from a long range to score an 8-5 win.

But even in defeat, Vijender has made history, becoming the only Indian boxer to clinch an Olympic medal.

Vijender, who also won bronze at the Doha Asian Games, struggled to connect his punches and was trailing from the very start.

In fact he failed to score a single point in the opening round, which ended 2-0 in the Cuban's favour.

Forced to play the catch-up game, Vijender managed a slight recovery in the second round as he reduced the deficit to just one point ending the second round 3-4 behind.

Bayeaux stuck to his strategy of back-paddling after landing punches, most of which were straight and more importantly precise.

The Cuban's lightening fast reflexes thwarted Vijender's attacks and the Indian once again failed to score in the third round.

The decider saw a desperate Vijender on the offensive but the Cuban survived the brief assault, although earning a two-point penalty for committing a foul, leaving the scoreline 8-5.

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Comment on this article

  • Johnson Coutinho, Palimar/Mira Road

    Fri, Aug 22 2008

    Congratulations to all the three medal winners. Why only three? We should change our education system. I feel the integration of Sports and Physical Education with the Educational Curriculum should be made compulsory subject of learning up to the Secondary School level and incorporating the same in the evaluation system of the student. A National Fitness Programme would be introduced in all Schools in the country, steps initiated to augment the availability of infrastructure, including play fields/ sports equipment and action taken to provide Physical Education Teachers in educational institutions through the training of ed teachers in these disciplines. Specialized Sports Schools may also be set up. An appropriate Inter-school and Inter- College/University competition structure would be introduced at the National, State and District levels.

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