Saturday, July 13, 2024

Injured Vikas ousted from Olympics: loses opening bout to Japan’s Okazawa


Tokyo, July 24: Indian boxer Vikas Krishan (69kg) was out-punched 0-5 and left with a bloodied eye by local favourite Sewonrets Quincy Mensah Okazawa as he bowed out of Olympics here on Saturday after fighting with a shoulder injury in the opening round.
The 29-year-old Vikas sustained a cut below his left eye in the high-voltage clash.

“During the last sparring session in Italy (before the team left for Tokyo), he injured his shoulder. He got treatment and we had hoped that he would be fine, he started without problem,” India’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva told PTI referring to the team’s pre-Olympic training stint in Italy.
“But when he attempted a jab at Okazawa’s body, he hurt the shoulder again and could not use his left hand properly. He fought with one hand today,” the Swede added.
Vikas was the only Indian boxer in action on the day. He had beaten Okazawa in the Asian Olympic qualifiers last year.
But on Saturday, Okazawa dominated from start to finish and seemed like a nimble-footed dancer in the ring, controlling the proceedings with utmost ease against the Indian, who was competing in his third Olympics.
“Vikas was in severe pain through the bout,” said his close friend and regular sparring partner Neeraj Goyat.
The 25-year-old Okazawa is of Ghanaian descent and was a silver-medallist at the 2019 Asian championships and a quarterfinalist at the world championships the same year.
He will next face Cuba’s third-seeded Roniel Iglesias in the round of 16. Iglesias is the 2012 Olympic gold-medallist and also a former world champion.

On Sunday, six-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg) and Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Manish Kaushik will compete in their opening bouts.
“It is a tough draw for Indians but we are at the Olympics, nothing is easy here,” Nieva said when asked about the string of tricky opponents that dot the draws of all the Indian boxers in fray.
“Everyone likes to have it slightly easy to start with but that can’t be reason to not give your best.” (PTI)