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Three Indian pugilists in Asian finals

June 12, 2009 22:45 IST

World youth champion Thokchom Nanao Singh advanced to the finals along with two others, but Olympians Vijender Singh and Jitender Kumar had to settle for bronze medals after semi-final defeats in the Asian Boxing Championships in Zhuhai, China, on Friday.

Nanao (48kg), Suranjoy Singh (51kg) and Jai Bhagwan (60kg) were the country's unlikely stars as they made it to the summit clash in their respective categories.

Apart from Vijender (75kg) and Jitender (54kg), Paramjit Samota (+91kg) and Dinesh Kumar (81kg) also settled for bronze medals after semi-final defeats.

Nanao, making his senior international debut, beat Nyayambayar Tugstogt of Mongolia 15-7. Fellow-Manipuri Suranjoy notched a 4-2 triumph over Thai Ruenroeng Amnaj.

Nanao takes on Thailand's Pongtrayoon Keaw and Suranjoy is up against Li Hao of China in the finals.

Jai, meanwhile, beat Zhailuov Gani of Kazakhstan 7-2. He will face Turkmenistan's Hudayberdiyev Serdar on Saturday.

"Both of us were tied 0-0 at the end of the first round but I attacked more in the next two rounds. I was expecting a better fight from him. I kept my guard up and didn't allow him an opening," Jai said.

Vijender's 8-11 loss to local favourite Zhang Jianting came as a surprise as the 23-year-old Indian had been in brilliant form out-punching boxers from top countries like Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in his previous two bouts.

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