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World Cup: Akhil, Dinesh, Jitender, Lakra settle for bronze

Last updated on: December 13, 2008 23:26 IST

Akhil Kumar (54kg) fought hard but fell short of luck, losing on count-back to Olympic silver medallist Yankiel Leon Alarcon in the semifinals to settle for a bronze medal -- along with Dinesh Kumar (81kg), Jitender Kumar (51kg) and A L Lakra (57kg) -- at the AIBA Boxing World Cup in Moscow on Saturday.

Moscow World Cup: India assured of four medals

The gritty 27-year-old matched his Cuban rival blow-for-blow all through the bout at the end of which the duo was tied 4-4.

But the ensuing count-back found Akhil trailing Alarcon in the overall tally of punches given by the judges.

In a cliffhanger of a bout, Akhil and Alarcon were cautious to start with and the opening round ended 0-0. The two exchanged a couple of blows in the second round to be locked 2-2.

The third round had Alarcon leading by a point but Akhil managed to bridge the small gap by scoring the only point of the fourth and final round.

"I had worked out a defensive plan for today and he, it seemed, had a similar strategy. We both remained cautious and though I lost, I can proudly say that I gave it my best," Akhil told PTI.

"It hurts not to have won the gold medal that I always aim for but I am happy that I could give an Olympic silver medallist a run for his money. It was an exciting fight which I enjoyed thoroughly. Anyways my motto in life is get up and keep moving until you achieve your goal," he added.

Earlier, Jitender Kumar (51kg) showed early promise before running out of steam against Olympic silver medallist Hernandez Laffita, losing 6-14.

The Haryana-boxer led 4-2 in the first round but Laffita bounced back to blank Jitender 3-0 in the second round. 

The next two rounds also belonged to the Cuban, who landed 11 scoring punches against Jitender's two to romp home comfortably.

"I did pretty well in the first round but lost my composure in after that. It happens but I am happy with the way I performed," said Jitender.

A L Lakra also put up a brave fight against Cuban Idel Torriente but eventually lost 3-6 to settle for the third spot.

Later in the day, Dinesh Kumar (81kg) also lost his semifinal bout against Artur Beterbiev 1-10 when he threw his towel after the second round, bringing curtains to Indian challenge in the World Cup with four bronze medals.

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