London: India’s L Devendro Singh stunned 2008 Beijing Games silver medallist Serdamba Purevdorj of Mongolia to storm into the quarter finals of the men's light-fly weight (49kg), at the London Olympics, here today.
The pocket-sized dynamo from Manipur outclassed his superior Mongolian rival 16-11 in the pre-quarterfinals at the ExCel arena and put himself one win away from a bronze medal.
Devendro started from where he left in his opening bout and kept Purevdorj under pressure by adopting aggressive attitude from the word go. He was quick with his footwork and also displayed fast hands, which his fourth seeded Mongolian found hard to handle as he was brought down to the canvas twice in the bout by the Indian.
With some quick left and right punches, Devendro seized the early initiative by taking a 4-3 lead in the opening round.
In a huge setback to India’s boxing campaign in the Olympics, welterweight boxer Vikas Krishan was thrown out of the competition after Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) overturned the result of his pre-quarter-final bout, which, he had won on Friday night against Errol Spence of the US.
While the Indian officials here alleged a conspiracy was hatched by the American team to oust the pugilist from the competition, AIBA pulled up 20-year-old Krishan for repeatedly “holding” his rival.
The Indian team has protested against the decision but the AIBA has refused to accept it. India, sources said, are planning to go to Court of Arbitration.
Krishan, an Asian Games gold medallist and winner of the third place in the world championship, had won 13-11 over Spence in a thrilling contest but following an appeal by the rival team management, the AIBA awarded the bout 15-13 to the American, citing the fouls committed by the Indian which were not noticed by the Danish referee Lars Brovil.
This is the second reversal for Indian boxers in the meet. On Monday, light heavyweight boxer Sumit Sangwan lost to his Brazilian opponent Yamaguchi Falcao Florentino 14-15 under controversial circumstances. While one of the television commentators described the decision as “a daylight robbery” and the Indian team lodged a protest, the AIBA stood by the referee’s judgement.
“It is nothing but a conspiracy by the Americans,” said a senior Indian boxing official. “Most of the US boxers were out of the Olympics. Spence was their lone hope……so they put pressure on the AIBA to save their boxer,” he said.
“This a blow for not only Vikas but the entire team,” said the official. “All the boxers in the squad are crestfallen. We came with big hopes but don’t know what will happen now. An elaborate plan seems to have been hatched to demoralise the Indians since they are performing well,” he added.