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Olympic champ Zou leads eight Chinese into Asiad finals

11-25-2010 11:19 BJT Special Report:Guangzhou Asian Games |

FOSHAN, South China, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Olympic champion Zou Shiming was among the eight Chinese qualifiers for the Asian Games boxing finals on Wednesday.

China has matured into a continental giant in boxing since the country ended a 16-year gold drought in Doha through Zou and Hu Qing.

In the men's 49kg category, reigning champion Zou beat Ruenroeng Amnat of Thailand 5-2 in a tight semifinal, setting up a clash with Zhakypov Birzhan of Kazakhstan, a 12-1 winner over Saludar Victorio Iii of the Philippines.

The 29-year-old Chinese admitted that he "accomplished a great achievement" in defeating Ruenroeng, a fifth-ranked boxer at the Beijing Olympics.

"He is my old friend and old rival. We are familiar with each other, so the mind-set will be decisive," said Zou before Wednesday's semis.

Zou was in good shape in the semis and took command in the first two rounds. Entering into the final round with a lead of 2-0, the relaxed Zou successfully defended Ruenroengs' attack and gained two consecutive points. Though Ruenroeng fought back by winning two points, Zou secured the victory with another point.

"The lead at the beginning is the key to my victory," said Zou.

Earlier in the men's 60kg category, another defending champion Hu Qing of China survived a tough challenge from Han Soon-Chul of South Korea.

The 24-year-old Chinese boxer leveled the score to 7-all in the second round by overcoming a 1-3 first-round deficit. Hu continued the momentum by taking three consecutive points in the final round, and claimed the victory with a winning score of 10-7.

"I was not familiar with my opponent's style, so I lagged behind at the beginning," said Hu. "But I gradually adapted to it and found my rhythm in the next two rounds."

Hu will fight against India's Vikas Krishan, a 7-0 winner over Tojibaev Hurshid of Uzbekistan.

In the men's over 91kg class, Olympic silver medalist Zhang Zhilei of China sailed into the final after taking a stoppage win over India's Samota Paramjeet.

Chinese youngsters Chang Yong and Zhang Jiawei also made through to the finals.

Chinese women boxers were dominant as all the three participants, Ren Cancan, Dong Cheng and Li Jinzi entered into the finals of women's 51kg, 60kg and 75kg.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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