Gold Coast (Australia): Indian boxers Gaurav Solanki and Vikas Krishan Yadav entered the semi-finals of their respective weight categories at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG) here on Wednesday. Gaurav came up with an impressive performance against three-time Oceania champion Charles Keama of Papua New Guinea to claim a well-deserved, unanimous 5:0 verdict in the quarter-finals of the men's flyweight (52 kilogram) category.
Vikas also registered a comfortable 5:0 victory over Benny Muziyo of Zambia in the last eight stage of the men's middleweight (75kg) division. The duo thus confirmed another couple of medals to the Indian tally as every boxer in the last-four stage is assured of a spot on the podium. Gaurav will fight Vidanalange Ishan Bandara of Sri Lanka in the semi-finals on Friday. Bandara outclassed Thabo Molefe of Lesotho 4:1 in another quarter-final on Wednesday. Last edition's bronze medallist Reece McFadden of Scotland and Brendan Irvine of Northern Ireland will meet in the other flyweight semi-final.
In the quarter-finals, McFadden outclassed Pakistan's Syed Muhammad Asif 5-0 while Irvine defeated Rajab Mahommed of Botswana 4:1. Up against the vastly more experienced Keama, Gaurav delivered a composed, technically superior performance. The Indian youngster had a lot of power in his punches and used his reflexes and a high guard to thwart his experienced south paw opponent from Papua New Guinea.
Gaurav landed more scoring punches in a frenetic opening period, thus taking the early advantage. The second round followed a similar script with Gaurav penetrating Keama's defence with powerful jabs on several occassions. Keama came out swinging in the third and last period in an effort to reduce the gap, but Gaurav did well to retaliate in an effective manner and take a well-deserved victory. Later, Vikas coasted to an easy win over Muziyo.