New Delhi: Star Indian boxer Vijender Singh assured himself of at least a bronze medal in his very first international competition in the light heavy weight (81kg) category by advancing to the semifinals of the Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia on Tuesday.
Vijender, the world number one in middleweight (75kg) division, has jumped a division for this event on an experimental basis and started off pretty well by beating Australian Jeremy van Diemen 18-6 in his opening bout.
The 25-year-old Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist took a 5-2 lead in the opening round before widening the margin to 10-3 in the next three minutes.
"My first international event in the light heavy weight division and I am so happy to have won. It is very satisfying because my opponent was a powerful guy," Vijender told PTI from Darwin.
The Asian Games gold medallist, competing in his first event after a five-month break, did not give any chance to his rival in the final three minutes as well and sealed it 18-6 to start his campaign with a bang.
"Power was perhaps the only difference but my movement in the ring was better. When it came to skills, I was better than him and managed to negate the power factor," added the Haryana lad.
Indian women boxers also made a fine start to their campaign in the event with Pooja Rani (75kg) and Meena Rani (60kg) winning their opening bouts.
While Pooja defeated local hope Scott Kaye 7-5, Meena had it easier as the referee awarded the bout to her after her Indonesian rival Ramela Dina Adriana injured herself. Earlier, Akhil Kumar (56kg) had reached the quarterfinals by winning his opening bout on Monday.