Boxers Vikas, Amit enter Asian Games semis, assured of medals

Amit defeated South Korea’s Kim Jang Ryong 5-0 with a thoroughly dominating performance while Vikas Krishan defeated China's Tuoheta Tanglatihan in a thrilling 3-2 verdict.

It will be the third successive Asiad medal for Vikas Krishan, becoming the first Indian boxer to achieve the feat.   -  TWITTER

For a brief period, Vikas Krishnan was virtually boxing like a blind man at the Asian Games here on Wednesday. The 26-year-old Commonwealth Games champion began as the favourite in the men’s 75kg quarterfinal against Erbieke Tanglatihan but it did not take long for the tall Chinese to figure out the Indian’s weak point.

It was the cut Vikas had suffered in his previous bout and Erbieke went for it in the opening round of the quarterfinal at the JI-Expo Hall here. That punch almost took the lights out and it was all hazy for Vikas after that in that round.

“I was unable to see, the picture was not clear, that’s why I was running here and there,” Vikas told Sportstar shortly after the bout. “That’s why I lost the first round from the three judges.”

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

That cut had given the Haryana boxer two sleepless nights. “I was thinking of it for the last two days,” he said.

But with that cut taken care of, at least temporarily during the break, Vikas came back better in the next two rounds. While his opponent went for combination punches, Vikas did not land many but the ones he landed were hard.

In the end, Vikas won a split 3-2 decision from the five judges with the Sri Lankan, Turkish and Bulgarian judges scoring in his favour and the Romanian and British men going against him.

The victory brought Vikas a bronze, his third in the Asiad, after a gold in 2010 and a bronze four years ago in Incheon. He now becomes the first Indian boxer to win three successive medals at the Continental Games. Another Indian, Amit, assured himself of a bronze defeating North Korea’s Kim Jang Ryong, by unanimous verdict, in the men’s 49kg quarterfinal.

But Olympian Vikas, who was adjudged the best boxer in the Strandja memorial meet in Sofia earlier this year, could be doubtful for Friday’s tough semifinal against Kazakhstan’s Amankul Abilkhan, the silver medallist at the last year’s World championships in Hamburg.

“May be, the doctors will tell me that,” Vikas said when asked whether his eye injury would heal before the semifinal.

Meanwhile in other quarterfinals, India’s Dheeraj Singh lost to Mongolia’s Chinzorig Baatarsukh 0-5 in the men’s section while Sarjubala Devi lost by a similar margin against China’s Yuan Chang 0-5  in the women’s 51kg category.