Vijender punches his way into Olympic quarterfinals

Vijender SinghLondon: Vijender Singh registered a thrilling 16-15 win against American Terrell Gausha to enter into the quarterfinals of men’s middle weight (75 kg) category in the Olympic Games at ExCel Arena in London on Thursday.

In a nail-biting encounter, the 26-year-old bronze medallist of the Beijing Olympic Games showed the temperament and character to scrap past Gausha in a contest of skill and strategy. Amidst fantastic Indian support, Vijender managed to take a slender lead of one point after the first round which ultimately played a decisive role in his win against his American rival.

The second round was far more contested as Vijender’s opponent proved to be more aggressive and though Vijender landed a few punches, it was not enough to give him a clear lead. As a result, the second round ended with a 5-5 scoreline. The Indian pugilist adapted a more attacking strategy in the third and final round but the American was equally good and replied in equal terms. Big-punching Gausha threw in a strong final round but could not sway the judges to swing the bout in his favour

Vijender said after the bout that it had been a job to give himself a chance of another podium place. "The coaches were saying calm down, calm down otherwise you will blow the fight.
"I admit I was very excited but I felt I had the measure of him and just needed to be prudent in the final round to ensure I got through."

Vijender, a former world number one, will now take on Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals. Atoev prevailed over Bogdan Juratoni of Russia 12-10 in the pre-quarterfinals.