Poonia enters final of Commonwealth Youth Games

New Delhi: Promising boxer Rahul Poonia continued his good show at the ongoing Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Mann by advancing into the final of the light flyweight category on Sunday.

However, there was disappointment for India in the middle weight category as the reigning Youth National Champion Surender Singh lost his semifinal bout to Grant Quigley of Scotland to settle for a bronze medal.

Poonia, a gold medallist in the Youth Olympics Games held in Cuba earlier this year, was up against Nyiko Ndukula of South Africa in the semi-finals in the 49kg category.

The South African was no match to the former Junior National Champion, Poonia, who dominated the proceedings from the word go.

With his three punch combination, the 16-year-old Poonia powered through the fragile defence of Ndukula to win 26:8 on points and set up a title clash with Jack Bateson of England.

The English boxer, who made it to the quarter-finals of the European Youth Championship, is expected to be a tough opponent and Poonia will have to dig deep to get past him in the final.

"It was a good win for me. I was connecting my punches and my strategies worked very well for me. I am quite confident going into the finals and will do my best to claim the gold medal," said an elated Poonia after his bout.

Meanwhile, Surender Singh was completely at bay against his Scottish opponent, who took full advantage of the Indian`s lack of form.

In the end, the 17-year-old Surender lost 15:24 on points.


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