Paramjeet Samota confirmed the first boxing medal for India in the 16th Asian Games as he sailed into the semifinals of the super heavyweight class with an authoritative fare against Sungkeun Park of Korea, at the Foshan Gymnasium here on Thursday.
He will next meet Zhang Zhilei of China. It was an impressive effort from Samota who trailed by a point at 0-1 in a tight first round, but unleashed the punches with such confidence that he led 5-2 at the end of the second round, and was up 9-4 in the third round when the referee stopped the contest.
While Samota was accurate with his sharp punches that had forced the Korean to a standing count four times in the bout, including thrice in the third round that forced the referee to stop proceedings, Park could only land the occasional left that swung into target, to get his points.
The 22-year-old Samota, one of the three Indian pugilists to win the gold in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last month, got his first points, when his opponent was given a warning for ‘open glove'
However, he picked up very well to completely the rattle the strongly built Korean.
Asian champion Suranjoy Singh was a delight to watch as he tackled a tough third round against Juseong Kim of Korea, winning the bout 8-6 to make the quarterfinals in the 52 kg section.
With a tight defence and a scientific approach, the 24-year-old Suranjoy controlled the bout to lead 4-1 after two rounds. It was here that the Korean decided to go for broke and went after Suranjoy.
Even as the Korean kept getting points, it was to the credit of Suranjoy that he did not drop the lead, but came up with the right punches to keep the score moving to 8-5 in his favour, before the Korean came up with a parting shot to lend respect to his side of the score. Suranjoy will meet Shahriyor Isakov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals.
Amandeep Singh was the other Indian boxer to progress, as his fierce left brooked little resistance from Shahad Alfaifi Fahad Ahmed of Saudi Arabia, in a first round of the 49 kg section.
Amandeep led 9-0 in the first round, when the woman referee stopped the contest after having given three standing counts for Fahad Ahmad. Amandeep will meet Waseem Muhammad of Pakistan in the pre-quarterfinals.
Chhote Lal Yadav could not sustain the victorious run of the Indian boxers, and went crashing to defeat 4-7 at the hands of Satoshi Shimizu of Japan in the pre-quarterfinals.
Chhotelal did have a good start and led 2-0, but his opponent meant business thereafter, as he sorted out the poor technique of the Indian who looked like a desperate street-fighter, particularly in the third round when he failed to win a single point.
In trying to bulldoze his way and possibly shake his opponent, Chhote Lal forgot the basics and the tall Japanese was quite smart in unleashing the punches despite being held tight by the Indian, as if in a wrestling bout.
Keywords: Asian Games