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President's Cup boxing: Santhosh, Jasveer in semis

July 06, 2011 18:05 IST

Indian boxers continued to pack a punch at the 21st President's Cup, with Asian Games gold medallist V Santhosh Kumar (64kg) and Jasveer Ahlawat (81kg) advancing to the semi-finals in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday.

Jasveer, a former national champion, beat Iran Olympian Mohammad Shourain 20-12 on Wednesday, while Santhosh got the better of Japan's Katsuaki Susa 15-7 late Tuesday night.

India is thus assured of three medals after the 18-year-old Gaurav Bidhuri also entered the semi-finals of light-fly 49kg division on Tuesday.

However, it was curtains for South Asian Games gold-medallist Chhote Lal Yadav, who lost the bantamweight 56kg quarter-finals 13-14 to China's Xu Bia Xiang after a thrilling contest.

"All the boxers fought really well. Jasveer was particularly impressive and even though Chhote lost his bout, he gave it his all. Santhosh is a proven performer and he did not disappoint," said team's coach Jagdeep Hooda.

Jasveer was locked 4-4 with Shourain in the opening three minutes before he took a slender one-point lead of 8-7 in the second round.

The final round belonged to the Indian, who said the bout left him completely exhausted.

He will now be up against Australian Damien Hooper, the Commonwealth Games quarter-finalist in the middleweight division who hit the headlines during the event for dropping his pants in front of officials.

"I was drained because my opponent was such a hard-hitter. It was a tough one but in a way it is good as it prepares me for the next round," said Jasveer, whose father was diagnosed with cancer just a few days before he left for tournament.

"If I win a gold, I will dedicate it to my father. I will focus on his treatment after I return to India. It has been hard for me ever since I came to know of his illness and it even affected my training. But my senior Akhil Kumar played a huge role in keeping me motivated," he added.

Santosh Harijan (52kg) and Lakhbir Singh (69kg) are the other two Indian quarter-finalists in the event.

Apart from Chhote, the other Indian boxer to sign off without a medal is 19-year-old Neeraj Goyat, who was competing in his maiden senior international tournament.

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