Friday, August 15, 2008

Bantamweight (54 kg)-Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Talk about perfect timing. It was the exactly like the other day when I wandered into the crowded TV room in 8th block, NITK, Surathkal - just before Yuvaraj Singh hit six sixer’s in one over. That was great to catch.

Today was very similar. To take a break from Naruto, which I have been watching from the past two weeks, I walked downstairs and just happened to catch the Bantamweight bout – Round of 16 between and Sergey Vodopyanov [Russian Federation] and Akhil Kumar [India]

About the boxers:

Sergey Vodopyanov [according to the commentator], had never before lost an international boxing match that he had competed in. He was the No.1 in the World Championships in Bantamweight, 2007 Chicago, IL, USA. Again, the No. 1 in Feliks Sztamm - Bantamweight, 2008 Warsaw, POL.

On the other hand, Akhil Kumar, was only 17th in the Flyweight event – 2004 Athens, GRE, and 3rd in Asian Championships - Bantamweight 2007 Ulaanbaatar, MGL

Highlights of the match:

The final round was the best. It was one of those things that you watch at the edge of your seat, hoping with all your might that it will turn out well, and it actually does. That’s the main reason for this post. It made my day.

The Russian had led throughout the game.

The scores were:

Round No. Points

Round 1 - 2 : 1

Round 2 - 6 : 4

Round 3 - 8 : 7

And in the final round, he got the 9th point first too.

Vodopyanov was extremely fast. [Out of the nine points that the he got, I couldn’t see when he got five of those. Slow replays at the end of each round gave a glimpse of how he might have got his points].

The Indian never quailed or lose hope. He was strong, swift and nimble on his feet throughout.

The equalizer was amazing. A flurry of straight punches in the end paid off.

It was 9 - 9, with still more than half a minute to go in the final round.

I bet any one who was watching the game, with any little interest, would have been holding his breath throughout the last round.

It went to the judges, as the score was a tie at the end, and they ruled in favor of Akhil Kumar. The world champion was stunned to the point of tears. The Indian was a happy man.

Confirmed reports say that he is aiming only for gold, and would in no way settle for anything less. And that his victory today was a gift to commemorate India's Independence day.

A great match to catch anyway - fluke or no fluke.

For now - Akhil Kumar – FTW!!

PS: Wikipedia never ceases to amaze. It hasn’t been three hours since the match, the last paragraph in Akhil Kumar’s profile already reads

“He made his way through to the second round in the Bantamweight 54 kg category at the Beijing Olympics in China in 2008 after beating the Frenchman Ali Hallab in points 12-5 in round one. He then beat current world champion Sergey Vodopyanov 9-9 after judges' decision.”


PS2: Caught the last three laps in the Women’s 10000 m race just now.

The one who came first - Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia -[incidentally was second throughout the race], had enough stamina to actually sprint the last lap after running for more than 25 minutes.

She won in 29:54.66 – less than half an hour for 10 kms. The sprint was the best part.


PS3: Akhil Kumar has shaved his head. The difference is remarkable. Check the papers tomorrow to see for yourselves.


Rakesh Babu G R said...

Sad that this guy lost the quarter final. The most heart-breaking final few seconds I have seen was in another quarter final Boxing match involving an Indian, in the Sydney Olympics. The guy just needed to run the time for another 25-30 seconds. Well his opponent threw him a few punches and this guy lost.

Even more heart-wrenching was the hockey match against Poland. There were 30 seconds left on the clock, and India just had to "not concede" a goal, and India would have been through to the semis. India conceded a goal, and Dhanraj Pillai cried. Sad.

Dha said...

Yup. Sad.
The feeling - So close, yet too far sucks.