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The dark horse Zhang Xiaoping bagged the 2nd boxing gold for China
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10:47, August 26, 2008


Zhang Xiaoping of China, centre, poses after defeating Kenny Egan of Ireland in the men's light heavyweight 81 final boxing match to win a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008. Bronze medalists are Tony Jeffries of Britain and Yerkebulan Shynaliyev of Kazakhstan seen at the right. (People's Daily Photo/Zhenyu Li)

About two hours after China's light flyweight hopeful Shiming Zou made history in becoming the nation's first Olympic boxing gold medalist, the dark horse light heavyweight Xiaoping Zhang beat the odds to bag the second boxing gold medal for China, outpointing Ireland's Kenny Egan 11-7.

Zhang upset two medal favorites on his way to the title bout, beating Russia's Artur Beterbiev, the silver medalist of the 2007 World Championships, 8-2 in the second round and his old nemesis Yerkebulan Shynaliyev of Kazakhstan, who kicked him out of the last eight in the 2007 World Championships, 4-4 in the semifinal.

In the final, the Chinese light heavyweight took an early lead and held it through the entire bout against Egan, who repeatedly struggled to land scoring punches despite an active attack.

"I performed on a high level both physically and psychologically during the tournament," Zhang said jubilantly after claiming the gold. "Before the Games, my goal rested simply on winning a medal. I didn't expect to reap a gold."

By Zhenyu Li, boxing writer for People's Daily online at ringside
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1 China 51 21 28 100
2 USA 36 38 36 110
3 Russia 23 21 28 72
4 Great Britain 19 13 15 47
5 Germany 16 10 15 41
6 Australia 14 15 17 46
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