Vijender Singh enters quarterfinals

India’s Vijender Singh is just one victory away from claiming a second straight Olympic boxing bronze medal and so making yet more Games history for his country.

Vijender, 26, gained a narrow 16-15 win over Terrell Gausha of the United States in the second round of the middleweight competition at London’s Excel Arena on Thursday.

At the 2008 Games in Beijing, Vijender became the first Indian to win an Olympic boxing medal and admitted after Thursday’s bout it had been a job to give himself a chance of another podium place.

“The coaches were saying calm down, calm down otherwise you will blow the fight,” he said.

“I admit I was very excited but I felt I had the measure of him and just needed to be prudent in the final round to ensure I got through.”

Vijender, who disappointed home fans by failing to reach the final in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, said he realised he was carrying the weight of expectations of millions of supporters in India.

“Everyone is tuning in to their TV’s in India and watching me. It is a great honour but also puts on me a huge duty to reward their faith that they placed in me.”

Gausha’s loss was the seventh successive defeat suffered by a US boxer in London and meant they’d just two male competitors remaining in the tournament.

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