Akhil assures another Olympic medal for India

Beijing, Aug 15 (UNI) After giving his countrymen a perfect gift on the Independence Day, Akhil Kumar, who knocked out World Champion Sergey Vodopyanov to advance into the quarter finals of the Olympics here today, has made his intentions very clear that he will not let anyone come his way as he aims to repeat Abhinav Bindra's feat.

''I am not overconfident but I keep trusting myself and I think I have it in me to win a medal for my country,'' Akhil said after his stunning victory over his Russian rival today.

Not many would have put their money on Akhil when he started the bout against his Russian rival but the Bhiwani boxer had other plans and made one of the major upsets in this Olympics.

Akhil in his characteristic tone sounded confident for his bout against Veaceslav Goja of Moldova on August 18 and a win there would guarantee him a medal.

''You can never rest on your reputation but I believe it (win) will not be a problem and I think I am in a good form to post another win,'' he said.

However, Akhil did point out that, ''In boxing you can never relax and even a single punch can spoil the whole game for you.

So I am definetely not complacent as well.'' Akhil further went on to describe his win against the World Champion today and said he forced the Russian to change his game and thanked his coach who planned out a perfect strategy for him.

''He (Goja) was playing with a plan and made a change in his own style as well which we never anticipated.

''He is a south paw but then he was playing more with his right hand and that was precisely to confuse me,'' he added.

When reminded of his last round where he landed a couple of punches on his Russian rival to draw parity at 9-9, the Indian described by saying, ''I was waiting for my chances and got a few occasionally. But in the last round I had to go all out which I did.

''When the scores were levelled, my coach signalled me that I had taken the bout and I went into defence,'' he said.


Story first published: Friday, August 15, 2008, 21:04 [IST]
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