'Luck was not on my side'

Vijender rues missed chances in semifinal bout


SHOWING OFF! Vijender Singh holds aloft his boxing World Championship bronze medal in Gurgaon on Monday. PTI

“Like every athlete, I also strive for the gold medal but I didn’t have the luck in the World Championship semifinals. I am sure, I would fetch a better medal than bronze the next time,” the world number two Olympic bronze medallist told reporters here.

Looking back at his 3-7 semifinal defeat against Uzbek Abbos Atoev, who went on to win gold, Vijender said he lost the bout in the second round, when he was blanked 0-5. “I gave my best. I fought hard but didn’t have the luck. The second round lead that he took turned out to be crucial,” he said.

National coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu agreed and said, “Boxing is a sport where luck is very important. The second round was crucial. The moment he was told that he is trailing, he tried to play catch up and ended up conceding two more points.”

Vijender has collected three bronze medals this year, the previous two being in the European Grand Prix in Czech Republic and the Asian Championships. “I have mixed feelings on winning a bronze at the Worlds. On one hand I am happy that I ended India’s medal jinx but then I got a good opportunity to win something better and I missed it.” Indian Boxing Federation chief Abhay Singh Chautala felicitated the entire nine-member team that had gone to Milan, lauding their performance.

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