Bhiwani, country erupt after Vijender wins

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Haryana erupted in joy after local youth Vijender Kumar beat his Ecuadorian opponent in the 75 kg boxing quarterfinal.

Updated: August 25, 2008 16:37 IST
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Bhiwani (Haryana):

This dusty city in Haryana on Wednesday evening erupted in joy after local youth Vijender Kumar beat his Ecuadorian opponent in the 75 kg boxing quarterfinal to enter the semi-finals in the Beijing Olympics.

Vijender's entry into Friday's semi-finals ensures India another medal in the ongoing Games - the best Olympic haul for the country so far. While shooter Abhinav Bindra bagged a gold earlier in the Beijing games, grappler Sushil Kumar clinched a bronze on Wednesday.

Celebrations broke out simultaneously in several towns and cities across Haryana and other parts of the country following Vijender's 9-4 victory over his opponent.

The disappointment on the faces of people from this town, which was writ large on their faces after the second boxer from here, Jitender Kumar, lost just a couple of hours before Vijender's bout, suddenly turned into maddening celebrations.

Local residents, especially budding boxers and Vijender's friends and relatives, who had gathered here to watch his fight on a single TV set put up at a specially erected tent outside his residence, jumped in joy as his bout ended and he was declared a comfortable winner.

His supporters carried each other on their shoulders and broke into a dance to celebrate his victory.

"We want nothing less than gold from him now. We want him to fight hard and make the country proud," said Satbir, a fellow boxer here.

His victory brought much required solace to this town after two boxers, Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar, lost their quarterfinal bouts earlier.

Vijender's relatives kept one of his boxing gloves on top of the television set where people were viewing it.

"We did it (put the boxing glove on the TV) to ensure that he wins his match," said another boxer Dinesh.

There was a near stampede-like situation at the Vijender's residence after his victory in Beijing. Scores of relatives, friends, fellow-boxers and media persons scrambled for space to be part of the victory celebrations.

The boxer's immediate family members had a hard time even in coming out of the house. Every few seconds, deafening roars of celebrations could be heard there.

His sister Sangeeta said the whole family was too excited after his victory.

"We are celebrating his victory but we will only be satisfied if he brings back gold. We want him to win only the gold medal. We wish him all luck," his sister said.

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