- Medical and Health
- Special Report
- RSS Feed
London: Star boxer Vijender Singh's dream to become India's first individual athlete with back-to-back Olympic medals came crashing down as he lost his quarterfinal bout against old foe Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan at the ExCel Arena here.
The 26-year-old Beijing Olympics bronze-medallist fought gallantly last night but was found wanting against his strong rival, whom he had blanked 7-0 in the Asian Games final in 2010. Atoev, a former world champion in the 81kg division, got his revenge on the biggest stage as he prevailed 17-13 in the nerve-wracking contest. After M C Mary Kom romped into the semifinals of the women's 51kg category earlier in the day, the spotlight was on Vijender to assure India of at least another bronze medal but that did not materialise as he bowed out of the competitions much to the dismay of millions of Indian supporters.
The Excel arena was packed with flag-waving Indian spectators, who lustily cheered Vijender the moment he stepped into the ring and the decibel level increased after every bout. Vijender, a bronze medal winner in the Beijing Olympic Games four years ago, just could not raise the tempo when it mattered the most as his Uzbek rival intelligently fended off his punches and launched counter-attacks.
The Indian, who had carved out a hard-fought 16-15 victory over Terrell Gausha of the USA in the quarterfinals on August 2, began cautiously and was quite content in gauging the strategy of his opponent in the first round which ended 3-3