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Triple joy for India as boxers hit the jackpot

first_imgOn one of the most unforgettable evenings in the nation’s boxing history, all three Indians in the fray clinched gold at the Talkatora Stadium on Wednesday.Asian champion M. Suranjoy Singh (52kg) got a walkover against Benson Njangiru of Kenya, Manoj Kumar crushed former European champion Bradley Saunders of England 11-2 while Paramjeet Samota (91+kg) got the better of Trinidad and Tobago’s Abdul Tariq Haqq 5-1 to help India improve their CWG boxing record.With the three yellow metals added on Wednesday, India rounded off their campaign with three gold and four bronze, since Amandeep Singh (49kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Dilbagh Singh (69kg) and Vijender Kumar (75kg) had lost in the semi-finals.India had only two boxing gold at the Games before Wednesday – with Mohammad Ali Qamar having triumphed in 2002 and Akhil Kumar in 2006. On Wednesday, the Indian national anthem was heard thrice; the first after Njangiru failed to appear owing to a groin injury.The announcer called Njangiru’s name but he didn’t turn up and the referee raised Suranjoy’s hand to declare him the winner. This sent the crowd into raptures.Suranjoy, who clinched his seventh gold medal in the last year-and-ahalf, said he never thought his road to glory would be a cakewalk.”I never thought it would be that easy. The crowd support has been just fantastic. I dedicate this medal to my parents, who could not come to see me because my mother is unwell,” the diminutive Manipuri said.A few minutes later emerged Manoj, who has struggled for the last two years due to a wrist injury. It seemed as though he was on a mission to turn his fortunes around against an opponent who was touted as the favourite.advertisementSaunders is a 2007 world championship bronze medallist and a 2009 European champion. But with a series of counter-attacks, Manoj not only stunned the Englishman but also thrilled the stands. The Indian was ahead 4-1 after the first round and extended his lead to 8-1 after the second.Despite such a big lead, Manoj didn’t get complacent and kept scoring on hooks and upper-cuts. With three points in the final round, he confirmed the second gold for India on the day.”My preparations were up to the mark and I was toiling hard at the national camp. I was waiting for an opportunity to prove my worth,” said Manoj.National coach Gurbux Singh Sanhu was all praise for his ward. “Manoj is actually the find of the tournament.He really impressed with his rock-solid defence and powerful counter punches,” he said.In the last bout, Samota demolished Haqq – who was bulkier and taller than him. “It’s not about your body structure or muscles – it’s your willpower that wins you the battle,” Samota said.last_img

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