Hamburg, Germany: Young pugilist Gaurav Bidhuri confirmed a medal for India at the AIBA World Boxing Championships by storming into the semi-finals of the bantamweight (56kg) categorty here on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old from Delhi became only the fourth boxer from India to win a medal at the World Championships, emulating Vijender Singh, Vikas Krishan and Shiva Thapa.
Gaurav is the second Indian boxer after Vikas Krishan to take a medal on his debut at the senior World Championships.
Gaurav, who has been struggling with severe back pain, boxed liked a champion and won his quarter-final bout by a unanimous decision against Bilel Mhamdi of Tunisia late in the evening.
“It is unbelievable…I have been struggling with a severe back pain for the last 7-8 months,” an ecstatic Gaurav said after the match.
“But nothing could stop me as I was determined to created history. Now I am closer to make that dream come true. I kept my mind controlled and focused on the match; I won first two rounds and then focused on maintaining the lead,” he added.
“My coaches and teammates have been really helpful, they have seen the pain I am going through and have helped me in every step. I want to dedicate this victory to my dad.
Bidhuri will now take on the winner of between Duke Ragan of USA and Jiawei Zhang of USA in the round of four.
“This is great news for Indian boxing,” BFI president Ajay Singh said in a statement.
“I congratulate Bidhuri and wish the other boxers too all the best over the next couple of days.”
However, Amit Panghal the other Indian to take to the ring on Tuesday, failed to get into the medal rounds, going down to Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals of the light flyweight (49kg) division.