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Diaz of Dominican Republic wins men's 64kg boxing gold
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16:28, August 24, 2008


Felix Diaz (blue) of Dominican Rep. competes during Men's Light Welter (64kg) Final Bout between Felix Diaz of Dominican Rep. and Manus Boonjumnong of Thailand of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games boxing event at Workers' Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Aug. 23, 2008. Felix Diaz defeated Manus Boonjumnong, and won the gold medal of the event. (Xinhua/Lu Mingxiang)

Felix Diaz of the Dominican Republic show few signs of vulnerability as he overcame defending champion Manus Boonjumnong of Thailand to win the men's light welter (64kg) boxing title at the Beijing Olympics on Saturday.

After a square first two bouts, the Domonican had complete control over the match in the remaining time to win it at 12-4 for the first gold medal of the Dominican Republic at the Beijing Games.

"It feels great to claim the first gold medal for my country, and I just play what I want but I have prepared well for the match," said the 24-year-old Dominican at the press conference. "I have a great coach and for a whole day yesterday we watched the video of my opponent, how he fights and moves and then I won."

"I breezed through the match in a way I like, and I do think my coach plays a part in the victory, who taught me a lot about the strategies. I had changed a lot of coaches before.

"I don't have a coach in my corner. I have a magician.

"I want to dedicate my victory to my parents, my two little kids and to all the people in Dominican Republic who have been watching my bouts at 3 o'clock in the morning every day just to support me."

Both athletes pulled off a careful game in the first bout as Diaz took a slight upper hand to lead at 2-1. Manus recovered a little then and his hard work got paid when he scored one point with 38 seconds left in the second bout to level things at 2-all.

But it turned out to be a flash in the pan as Diaz used a 9-1 run to take comfortable lead at 11-3.

The Dominican never looked back en route to the 12-4 victory.

However, the Thai seemed to be satisfied with the silver medal.

"I do the best I can, I know my men want me to bring a gold medal home but I am doing just fine with the silver," said Manus, three years Diaz's senior.

"I am not surprised with the result although I did not expect an easy loss like this, my opponent just did a good job."

In an earlier final, Manus' compatriot Somjit Jongjohor did not seem to be firing on all cylinders to beat Cuban Andris Laffita Hernandez in the men's fly (51kg) final.

"I felt proud of us as we have notched up medals in consecutive Games," added Manus.

Source: Xinhua

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