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I tried my best but could not pull it off: Vijender

August 22, 2008 22:25 IST

Beaten Indian boxer Vijender [Images] Kumar has promised to return at the next Olympics [Images] in 2012 and win a gold for India.

Vijender had to settle for a bronze medal at the Beijing [Images] Games after being out-punched by Cuba's  Emilio Correa Bayeaux in the semi-finals of the 75 kg categoryon Friday.

"Once he went 3-0 ahead, a comeback was always difficult. I tried my best and reduced the gap in the second round but could not really pull it off," a dejected Vijender said after the bout.

The 22-year-old was simply out-thought by his Cuban opponent, who negated the height and reach advantage of Vijender by fighting from a safe distance to score an 8-5 victory.

"I'm very upset and want to say sorry to all, for I could not win the bout. But I promise to come back in the 2012 Olympics and beat this guy and win gold," Vijender added.

"I had prepared well for his right punches but his left proved equally strong and I often had no answer to that," Vijender said of his opponent, whose tactical superiority was evident, as he hit the Indian before backpedaling fast.

Vijender could not score in the first and third rounds, and even in the final phase got two penalty points after the Cuban pushed him.

The Haryana lad was still happy to have won India's first boxing medal.

"I believe boxing will see better days in India. We made good progress in the sport and it showed here," he said.

Coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu was not too unhappy either.

"I'm happy that at least we finished with an Olympic medal, it was a breakthrough for us. For the first time, three Indian boxers reached the quarterfinals. We have shown what we are capable of and the whole world is now watching us," Sandhu said.

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