Shiva, Bhaskar, Vikas in World Youth C`ship QFs

New Delhi: Indian boxers continued their impressive run at the World Youth Championships with the trio of Asian champion Vikas Krishan, J Bhaskar and Shiva Thapa advancing to the quarterfinals with thumping wins in their respective categories in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The first Indian to take the ring, Bhaskar thrashed Algeria`s Reda Benbaziz 13-5 in the fly weight 51kg category.

Shiva, India`s first ever gold medallist at the prestigious Hyder Aliyev trournament for juniors, blanked Sweden`s Raz Rejen Abdulrahman 11-0 in the bantam weight 54kg.

Later, Vikas beat Lativia`s Eduards Gutmans 8-3 in the light weight 60kg to be just one win away from qualifying for the Youth Olympic Games.

Bhaskar will be up against Shaban Ahahpalangov tomorrow after the local favourite defeated China`s Jiang Jinyong 6-2.

Shiva, meanwhile, has a tough bout in hand as he will take on Russian Vadim Semim, who beat Czech Republic`s Patrik Velky 12-6 in his pre-quarterfinal bout.

Vikas will face off against Ireland`s Michael O`Reilly, who got the better of Welshman Mitchell Buckland 12-6.

Bhaskar faced some resistence to start with but still managed to end the first round 4-2 ahead. From the second round onwards, the Indian dominated the proceedings and added six points to make it 8-2.

The final round followed a similar script and though Benbaziz managed to open his account, it hardly made a difference as Bhaskar pocketed four points in the last minute.

Shiva gave an even more dominating performance as he didn`t allow his rival to strike even a single scoring blow.

With nine points in his kitty by the end of round two, Shiva had the bout firmly in his grasp and he only widened the margin by picking up three more points in the final round.

"It`s the biggest tournament of my career. I have worked really hard for this. My rival kept his guard up and I followed the simple strategy of hitting on his guard to open him up and then counter-attack," Shiva told reporters.

"It`s against Russia tomorrow but I am confident of putting it across. The key is to mix aggression with caution," the 17-year-old said.

Vikas was admittedly nervy to start with against Gutmans but gained in confidence as the bout progressed. The Haryana lad was up 2-0 in the first round before becoming more agrressive to close it 8-3 in the end.

"I thought it would be tough and was slightly nervous in the beginning but it turned out to be rather easy in the end," Vikas said.

An ecstatic coach G Manoharan said, "It`s a tournament featuring over 450 boxers from 90 countries. My boys have done well and hopefully they would win medals here."


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