World Boxing: Krishan settles for bronze
New Delhi: India's Vikas Krishan (69kg) had to settle for a bronze medal in the World Boxing Championships after a 12-15 loss to Taras Shelestyuk of Ukraine in the semi-finals in Baku (Azerbaijan) Friday.
Taras Shelestyuk of Ukraine, right, fights Krishan Vikas of India duringa men’s 69 kilogram semifinal boxing match
The 19-year-old equalled the feat of compatriot Vijender Singh's bronze at the Milan World Championships in 2009. He also qualified for the London Olympics.
Vikas loses in semis
India's Vikas Krishnan lost to Taras Shelestyuk 15-12 in the World Boxing Championship semifinal in Azerbaijan on Friday.
The 19-year-old did not disappoint as he did not make it easy for the Ukrainian. Vikas wins the bronze medal and qualifies for the Olympics in London next year.
"I am satisfied as the bigger aim (Olympic qualification) was achieved. I was not even expecting to win a bronze. I think it was not my day, luck didn't favour me," Krishan told the Times of India.
"Before the bout, my team mates told me that my opponent was very good and experienced and that I should not be disheartened with my performance if I lost. However, today's bout has definitely boosted my confidence and there is the hunger to win more," he said.
Taras had the upper hand in the opening round winning it 4-2. But he was all prepared to dodge the aggressive tactics used by Krishnan in the second round. Taras won the second round 6-4, thus extending his lead to 10-6.
Though the Ukrainian seemed tired in the third round, he held his ground and beat Vikas 15-12.
India coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu was happy with the Haryana lad's performance. "We are satisfied. Our target was qualification and bronze is a bonus. He played against an experienced boxer from a boxing nation."
"In the first round, Vikas was a bit shaky. But in the second round we changed the strategy to long range with powerful right and left hooks and the occasional upper cut. Vikas implemented it perfectly," he added.
Sandhu said Vikas was still working on his game as he switched to the welterweight category only in July this year. "Vikas is playing two weights above his actual category. He needs to gain 3-4kg. He's got the material to win an Olympic medal," he added.
The other Indian boxers to have qualified for the London Olympics are Jai Bhagwan (60 kg), Manoj Kumar (64 kg) and Devendro Singh (49kg).
Photograph Copyright : Getty Images
I will happily take this bronze: Vikas
He could not better his senior Vijender Singh’s feat but teen Indian boxer Vikas Krishan is still quite happy with the bronze medal he settled for at the World Championships as he feels he gave a good account of himself against older and experienced rivals.
Competing in his maiden senior World Championships, the 19-year-old had to be content with a bronze in Baku, Azerbaijan, which was India’s lone medal at the event just like the last time around.
The country had managed a bronze in the previous edition two years ago as well through Olympian Vijender - at that time a first for Indian boxing.
Vikas, playing his first tournament after jumping a couple of divisions to welterweight (69kg), lost to Ukraine’s European Championship bronze-medallist Taras Shelestyuk 12-15.
During the event, he along with L Devendro Singh (49kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg), also qualified for next year’s London Olympics by reaching the quarterfinals, making it the most successful World Championships for India.
“I am very satisfied with my performance as I competed against some very tough guys in my draw and given that it was my debut event in the welter weight division, I will happily take this bronze medal,” Vikas told PTI from Baku.
The Asian Games gold-medallist in the light weight (60kg) division, jumped to welter weight just two months before the World Championships.
The Haryana-lad, who is a former youth world champion, said he felt a tad tired during his semifinal bout against a muscular 26-year-old rival.
“I was tired because jumping a couple of divisions and adjusting to it is no easy task. I know I could have performed better but everything is god’s will and if he wanted a bronze for me, I would take that bronze,” said the teenager, who has won admiration for his tactful boxing.
“My rival was a mature guy, who kept attacking me, drained my energy. I tried very hard in the first two rounds to work out a counter-strategy but it was not to be my day. In the final round, I took things as they came.
“It has been a fantastic learning experience and I am sure I will be going a step further when I compete in this event the next time. The big achievement here is that I have qualified for the Olympics and I can’t be happier,” added the boxer, who finished the final three minutes of his bout 6-5 ahead.
National coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu was also all praise for the teen, saying he is a future world champion.
“His ability belies his age, I am sure he will be a world champion the next time,” said Sandhu.
“Even overall, I am very happy with my performance because four of my boxers (Vikas, L Devendro Singh, Jai Bhagwan and Manoj Kumar) qualified for the Olympics by reaching quarterfinals. It’s a laudable performance and I am proud of them,” he added.
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