Boxing ace Vijender says Devendro, who stormed into the quarters at World Championships to qualify for Olympics, is a sure shot medal at the 2012 Games
India's star boxer Vijender Singh did not have a great World Championships himself, having lost in his Middleweight (75 kg) opening round fight to Cuban Emilio Correa, but he was a happy man yesterday.
"It's a great day for Indian boxing with four of our fighters Devendro, Manoj, Jai, and Vikas having qualified for the London Olympic Games. So I'm really happy," Vijender told MiD DAY from Haryana, a day after arriving from Azerbaijan yesterday.
L Devendro Singh
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg) and teenager L Devendro Singh (49kg) booked their Olympic berths by advancing to the World Boxing Championships' quarter-finals with contrasting wins over China's Qing Hu (17-15) and Ecuador's seventh seed Carlos Quipo (18-12) respectively.
Jai Bhagwan (60kg) later outboxed Ireland's seventh seed David Joyce (32-30), while Vikas Krishan (69 Kg) beat Rurkey's Onder Sipal 14-7 to book their spots at the Games, Vijender particularly hailed nineteen-year-old Devendro for his impressive show. "Devendro is a good, young, committed fighter. He has won a lot of laurels at the junior level but this is his first major international tournament, and to reach the last eight is commendable," said the Asian Games gold medallist.
Furthermore, India's only Olympic medal-winning boxer (bronze in Beijing 2008) even touted the Manipuri to be an Olympic medal contender in London. "Devendro is a sure shot medal in London. It may not be gold, but he will definitely win some medal. That's because firstly, the competition in the lower weight categories is not as intense as in the higher ones. And secondly, he has already seen and assessed most of the competition in his category at the Worlds here," added Vijender, who was disappointed to learn of defeats to Suranjoy Singh and Dinesh Kumar.
CWG gold medallist Suranjoy lost 14-17 to Mongolian ninth seed Nyambayar Tugstsogt in the fly weight (52kg) division two days ago, while Asian Games silver medallist Dinesh (81 Kg) lost 7-16 to CWG gold medallist Damien Hooper of Australia yesterday. "Both deserved medals at the Worlds," said Vijender.
Meanwhile, Devendro was over the moon. "I never thought I'd make it to the Worlds in the first place considering the tough competition at the national trials with fighters like Amandeep Singh and Thokchom Nanao Singh in my category. And now that I'm here I want to win a medal," said Devendro, who next meets Korea's Shin Jong in the quarter-finals.