Vikas, Amit guarantee medals

Vikas Krishan, who clinched a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, fought despite a cut above his left eye to beat China's Tuoheta Erbieke Tanglatihan 3-2. Reuters File photo

Indian boxers will return with a haul of just two medals from the 18th Asian Games with only Amit Phangal and Vikas Krishan managing to enter the semifinals on Wednesday.

In the 49kg category quarterfinals, Amit defeated Kim Jang Ryong of North Korea in a unanimous verdict while Vikas won through after a narrow split decision against China’s Erbieke Tanglatihan in the 75kg category.

Vikas thus completed a hat-trick of medal successes at the Asian Games. He had won the gold in the 60kg category at Guangzhou 2010 and bagged a bronze in the 75kg class at Incheon 2014.

The 26-year-old had to sweat it out to produce victory and if the Chinese felt disappointed at the verdict, he had reasons to be. Three of the five judges ruled in favour of Vikas while the other two went in favour of Tanglatihan.

The Indian started well with a solid right to Tanglatihan’s face but the Chinese launched some fierce attacks thereafter and Vikas had to defend stodgily to stay alive. With good reach and an aggressive mindset, the Chinese kept coming hard at Vikas in the second round too but the Indian managed to sneak in a few punches. In the third round though, the Indian had a clear edge, with four of the judges ruling in his favour.

Amit was in control against Kim, wresting control early and maintaining the advantage in the second round as well. The Commonwealth Games silver medallist went slow in the third, having assured his progress.

“I was focusing on combinations. The plan was to start fast and when he got tired in the third round, I went slow,” said Amit.

The other Indian in the quarterfinals, Dheeraj Rangi, lost to Mongolia’s Chinzorig Baatarsukh by a unanimous verdict.

India will end without a medal in the women’s section after Sarjubala Devi’s defeat to Yuan Chang in the 51kg category. Two other Indians, Pavitra and Sonia Lather, had bowed out earlier.

India had won one gold and four bronze medals at Incheon 2014, with M C Marykom winning the only gold.

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Vikas, Amit guarantee medals

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