Gaurav assures India of medal at World C'ship
Hamburg: Wildcard entrant Gaurav Bidhuri on Tuesday became only the fourth Indian boxer ever to secure himself a medal in the World Championships after he defeated Tunisia's Bilel Mhamdi to enter the semi-finals of the mega- event.
Gaurav prevailed in a split decision in the bantamweight (56kg) quarterfinal contest to make the last-four stage, becoming the second from the country to do so in his debut world championship. The only other Indian to have achieved the feat was Vikas Krishan, in the 2011 edition.
"It is so so surreal. I was a wildcard entry and now I am a medallist. Everything has happened so quickly for me, my brain will take some time to process all this," Gaurav said after his triumph.
Besides Vikas, Vijender Singh (2009) and Shiva Thapa (2015) have been the country's only other medallists at the marquee event of the sport. But they have all settled for bronze medals and it remains to be seen if Gaurav can better them on that.
"I am going to create bigger history now by winning a better medal than bronze. I have been dealing with a back problem for the last eight months, (but) somehow kept going and finally I have been rewarded, it is just so overwhelming right now," said the boxer, who will face American Duke Ragan in the semi-finals after Wednesday's rest day.
There was a little disappointment as well for the contingent when Amit Phangal (49kg), another impressive Indian debutant in the world event, bowed out in the quarter-final stage.