Astana (Kazakhstan), April 8 (IANS) Indian boxer Vijender Singh qualified for the 2012 London Olympics by advancing to the semi-finals of 75 kgs weight category at the Asian Olympic qualifying event here Sunday.
The Beijing Olympics bronze medallist beat 2011 Asian Championship silver medallist Chuluuntumur Tumurkhyag of Mongolia in the quarterfinals to secure the all important Olympic quota.
The victory also assured the former World No.1 of at least a bronze from the qualification tournament. The 26-year-old became the fifth Indian boxer to make the London Games after Vikas Krishnan (69kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg) and rookie Devendro Singh (49kg).
The first four quota places came in the qualification competition in October at the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Vijender started off slow and was down 4:6 after the opening three minutes of play. But the Indian came back strongly in the second round, taking Chuluuntumur by surprise. Making good use of his long reach and hard hitting straight punches, Vijender quickly turned the tables and gained the advantage with a two point lead (13:11).
In the final round, Vijender shifted into top gear, launching an all out offensive, to which the Mongolian boxer had no answer. His relentless attack, with uppercuts and straight punches helped him claim victory by a margin of 10 points (27:17).
Vijender will now take on Nursahat Pazziyev of Turkmenistan for a place in the finals.