Indian boxers have created history by winning a record haul of 10 medals,including four gold,in the Invitation FXTM International Boxing Cup held in Limassol,Cyprus. Pugilists Madan Lal (52kg),V Durga Rao (56kg),Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Praveen Kumar (+91kg) won gold while Manoj Kumar (64kg),Dinesh Kumar (91kg) and Sukhdeep Singh (75kg) had to be satisfied with silver medals.
This is also the first time Indian boxers have managed to win a tournament on the European circuit. Earlier in the tournament,Anil Kumar (60kg),Jagroop Singh (81kg) and L Devendro Singh (49kg) had crashed out in the semifinals and ended up with a bronze each. It was a heart break for Manoj Kumar as the Olympian and 2010 Commonwealth Games champion lost to Abdelkader Chadi of Algeria in the final of 64kg category. Super heavy-weight boxer Praveen Kumar won the fourth gold for India after overhauling Beguerni Hamza from Algeria. Olympian Dinesh Kumar,who had beaten Olympian and WSB boxer Chouaib Bouloudinat from Algeria in the semis,came up short against the power hitting of Fotios Arapoglous from Greece. Participating in his maiden international event Sukhdeep Singh gave a good account of his skills and showed immense potential in the tournament. In the finals though,the 20-year-old was unable to get past Kyriakos Spanos of Cyprus. “This is a first for us,we have never won a tournament in the European circuit before. It is a big achievement for Indian boxers and I am very happy with the way most of our boys fought,” chief national coach G S Sandhu said.
Five medals in Russia
Meanwhile,India’s Thokchom Nanao Singh (49kg) and Dilbagh Singh (69kg) had to content with silver medals after losing their final bouts on Monday at the Khabarovsk International Competition in Khabarovsk,Russia even as Indian boxers finished with five medals. Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Dilbagh had a bad day at office and seemed out of sorts against Kozhabekov Bakytzhan of Kazakhstan. He too had to content with a silver medal as he was crushed 3-9 in the final bout. Earlier,Sunil Kumar (52kg),Shiva Thapa (56kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) reached the semi-final stage of the tournament to bag the bronze medal in their respective weight categories.