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Chinese stole the limelight in Olympic boxing

Beijing, Aug 24: China stole the limelight from the mighty Cubans by winning their first two Olympic boxing titles to deafening roars from a thrilled crowd on Sunday.

Zou Shiming started the party by winning in unexpectedly easy fashion, his Mongolian opponent retiring with a shoulder injury early in the second round of their light-flyweight final. Zou, who had won China's first boxing medal with a bronze in Athens four years ago, draped himself in the Chinese flag and burst into tears during the medal ceremony."I did not cry four years ago when I got the bronze but I told myself, when you get gold, you can cry," the 27-year-old told reporters. Light-heavyweight Zhang Xiaoping later doubled the hosts' tally by outpointing Kenny Egan 11-7, a verdict met by boos from a small but raucous Irish contingent who felt the score did not reflect the bout. Cuba were pinning their last hopes on bantamweight Yankiel Leon and welterweight Carlos Banteaux but both lost, to Mongolia's Badar-Uugan Enkhbat and Kazakh Bakhyt Sarsekbayev respectively. Apart from the 1984 and 1988 Games which they boycotted, Cuba had not left without a boxing title since the 1968 Olympics in Mexico.

Story first published: Sunday, August 24, 2008, 17:07 [IST]
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