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Dinesh, Jitender, Jai in semis

June 10, 2009 17:59 IST
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Dinesh Kumar (81kg) scored a sensational knock-out victory while fellow-Olympian Jitender Kumar (54kg) was equally dominating in his quarter-final triumph as three Indians stormed into the semi-finals of the Asian Boxing Championships in Zhuhai, China, on Wednesday.

Dinesh was brutal in his knock-out win over Hsiao Huang-Yi. The bout had barely started when a ferocious body blow from the Bhiwani-boxer grounded his Taipei opponent.

Jitender, meanwhile, thrashed Enkhjargal Iderkhuu of Mongolia 10-2 in a lopsided bout to assure himself of his first medal since jumping a division from flyweight (51kg) this year.

Jai Bhagwan (60kg) was no less impressive in his 12-3 victory over local favourite Hu Quinxun.

The trio's triumph means that India is assured of at least five medals, Thokchom Nanao Singh (48kg) and Paramjit Samota (+91kg) having also made it to the semi-finals.

Jitender was the first to take the ring for India and the counter-puncher was all aggressive from the first round itself, establishing a massive 5-1 lead after the opening three minutes.

The 22-year-old increased the lead to 7-2 in the second before blanking his opponent  in the third and final round.

"I was very nervous before the bout, but once I stepped in, nothing mattered. I just focussed on getting as many points as possible in the first round. My defence was tight and I was quicker on the feet," the diminutive Jitender said.

"I have finally found my feet in the bantamweight. All the hesitation and skepticism is now completely gone," added the Haryana boxer.

Jitender takes on Chinese Taipei's Liu Shih Jung in the semi-finals on Friday.

"My confidence is high after this win and though I am not complacent, I think I can pull it off in the remaining two bouts to get the gold medal," said Jitender, who will have his mentor Olympian Akhil Kumar by his side on Friday.

Jai Bhagwan, on the other hand, will be up against another tough opponent in Kazakh Zhailauov Gany in the semi-finals.

But national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said given his form, Jai, a former national champion, can upstage his more fancied rival.

"To beat a home favourite by such huge margin is big. Jai looks to be in very good form and I think he will pull it off against the Kazakh guy," said Sandhu.

Dinesh also has a Kazakh awaiting him in the semis. The World Cup bronze medallist meets Yeleussinov Dauren on Friday.

Meanwhile, the lone disappointment for the team came in the 91kg, where Gurlal Singh lost to Jordan's Almatbouli.

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