Vijender storms into quarterfinals in Asian Games

World number one Vijender, who got a first round bye, was finding hard to break into his opponent's defence initially and was trailing 1-2 at the end of the second round before running away winner with a flurry of punches.

The lanky Indian, who won bronze in the 2006 edition in Doha, showed his class in the third round by taking eight points against two by his unheralded opponent.

There were some anxious moments in the Indian camp in the first two rounds when Vijender was finding it hard to break the tall Chinese Taipei boxer's shell guard.

Vijender scored his first point at the dying moments of the first round with an upper cut but the Chinese Taipei boxer came back strongly and scored two points in the second round to take a 2-1 lead, giving jitters to the Indian camp.

The star Indian, however, settled the issue in the third round with a flurry of punches which left his opponent at the receiving end. He will take on South Korea's Cho Deokjin in the quarterfinals.

Vijender admitted he was finding it difficult to break his opponent's defence initially and said he was under a bit of pressure after the second round.

"My opponent tried to use his better height to his advantage by employing shell guard and I was finding a bit difficult to break it. Honestly, my heart beat was up after trailing in the second round," Vijender told PTI after his bout.

"But once I did break his defence in the third round I was able to score freely," said the Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist.

Asked about his quarterfinal opponent, Vijender said, "I have fought against the Korean thrice earlier. I have beaten him twice and lost once."

Earlier in the day, Vikas Krishan (60kg) advanced to the pre-quarterfinals after beating Thailand's Saylom Ardee in his opening round bout. Suranjoy Singh (52kg) had also reached the pre-quarters yesterday.

The 18-year-old Vikas, a reigning world youth champion and a bronze medallist of the inaugural Youth Olympics this year, won 8-1 against Ardee in his first bout at a senior international event.

The lanky Haryana-lad, with a water-tight defence, fought from long range and never really allowed his rival to get so close as to strike a scoring blow.
The Indian led 3-0 in the opening round and built on the lead with his trademark combination punches, the most prominent being jabs which he used to telling effect against Ardee.

"It was my first major international event at the senior level but I was not at all nervous because nerves can affect your game. I took it as just another bout and fought freely," Vikas said.

"I maintained a distance from Ardee because the only time I tried striking from close range, I ended up conceding a point," he added.

Vikas, who became a national champion on debut at the senior level four months ago, will now be up against Turkmenistan's Amangeldi Hudaybergenov in the last-16 stage.
"It is going to be a tough one but hopefully, I will pull it off," Vikas said.

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