World and Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh asserted his class to reach the semifinals of the Asian Olympic boxing qualification event and earn his ticket to the London Olympics.
In a 75kg quarterfinal bout in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Sunday, Vijender recorded a come-from-behind 27-17 win over Asian championship silver medallist Chuluuntumur Tumurkhuyag of Mongolia to become the fifth Indian boxer to ensure his place in the Olympics. This will be his third Olympic appearance in a row.
Young Sumit Sangwan (81kg) stunned reigning Asian champion Hyeongkyu Kim of Korea 22-12 to make the semifinals and brighten his chances of securing an Olympic slot. Sangwan was tied 4-4 with the Korean after the first round and led 11-7 in the second. He will take on Jordanian Ihab Al-matbouli, a 91kg bronze winner in 2009 Asian championship, in the last four.
The top three in 81kg will be eligible for the London Games.
Four Indian boxers — L. Devendro Singh (49kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Vikas Krishan (69kg) — had already booked their berths in the Olympics.
In the bout of the day for the Indian camp, Vijender, who was trailing 4-6 after the first round, rallied to garner nine points in the second round and led 13-11 before the last three minutes of the bout. In the final round, he stepped up attack to amass 14 points against the Mongol's six and achieve his mission to Olympics.
“I will now give my all in the Olympics and prove that I am the best. It is such a relief to have got qualified,” a PTI report quoted Vijender as saying.
The 26-year-old Indian will face Asian and Youth Olympics bronze medallist Nursahat Pazziyev in the semis. The top four middleweight boxers from this event will participate in the Olympics.
On Monday, Shiva Thapa (56kg) will meet Guangzhou Asian Games gold medallist Worapoj Petchkoon of Thailand.