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Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Saturday, 9 October 2010 17:44 UK

Commonwealth Games 2010: Khan guaranteed Delhi medal

2010 COMMONWEALTH GAMES
Venue: Delhi, India Dates: 3-14 October 2010 Coverage: Comprehensive live coverage across BBC TV, radio, online, BBC Red Button, mobile and BBC iPlayer services. Find full coverage details here. And a full schedule of events here.


Haroon Khan

Khan beats Selby to reach semi-final

Pakistan boxer Haroon Khan is guaranteed at least a Commonwealth Games bronze medal after beating Wales' Andrew Selby to reach the semi-finals.

Flyweight Khan, younger brother of WBA champion Amir, beat Selby on countback after their bout in Delhi ended 3-3.

Northern Ireland's Paddy Barnes is also guaranteed a medal, having beaten Australia's Andrew Moloney 4-2.

But India's Akhil Kumar, the defending Commonwealth bantamweight champion, disposed of England's Iain Weaver 11-6.

Weaver picked up the opening point, but Kumar, one of India's stars of the Games, soon established an insurmountable lead.

However, the Englishman expressed dismay at the result, insisting: "I thought I won the fight fair and square."

Weaver's team-mate, Obed Mbwakongo, later inflicted the first defeat on an Indian boxer in the entire tournament, landing a blow on the hosts' Dinesh Kumar with the last punch of his contest to win 9-8.

I don't have a problem with the British boxers, just the selectors

Haroon Khan

English heavyweight Simon Vallily is through to the quarter-finals after stopping Isle of Man's Dominic Winrow in round one.

Northern Ireland's Steven Ward is also through to the heavyweight last eight after defeating Australia's Giancarlo Squillace 7-4, and Scottish heavyweight Stephen Simmons eased past South Africa's Masana Manganyi 10-2.

But Glasgow boxer Joe Ham collapsed following his bantamweight defeat to Namibia's Sakaria Lukas.

Ham's legs gave way after his 14-11 defeat - he was given oxygen by venue doctors and Team Scotland staff before being taken from the Talkatora stadium on a stretcher.

BBC Sport's Matthew Pinsent, at the arena, said Ham had been admitted to hospital but added: "It is entirely procedural according to a Team Scotland spokesperson, and they expect him back in the athletes' village later on Saturday night"

Welsh featherweight Sean McGoldrick brushed past Joseph Lartey from Ghana, winning 5-2, and Northern Ireland's Tyrone McCullagh progressed with a 7-2 win over over Australia's Ibrahim Balla.

Fellow Northern Irish boxer Tommy McCarthy hammered Tanzania's Leoanard Machichi 10-1 in his light-heavyweight contest, without being forced to work.

606: DEBATE

Rounding off Saturday's action for the home nations' fighters, Scotland's Callum Johnson easily won through 8-1 against the Isle of Man's Krystian Borucki, while Wales' Jermaine Asare hung on to beat Ghana's Ahmed Saraku.

Victory was bitter-sweet for Bolton-born Khan after the 19-year-old chose to fight for Pakistan having been overlooked for Great Britain's Olympic podium training squad and therefore England's Commonwealth Games team.

Selby is a member of the GB set-up and after every round ended level - the score was 1-1, 2-2 and finally 3-3 - the Pakistan fighter got the nod ahead of the Welshman, who was generally the more aggressive fighter throughout.

''I was concentrating on what was going on in the ring but yes, I came to prove myself," said Khan when asked if he felt his victory over Selby proved the selectors wrong.

"All I wanted was the medal and now I've got that so I'm delighted. I don't have a problem with the British boxers - one of the coaches came to me before the fight and wished me luck so I don't have a problem with the team, it's just the selectors."

To suggest our policy on selection is based on anything other than merit is not supported by the facts

Rob McCracken, England head coach

Responding to comments made by Selby after the previous round in which the Welshman said Khan was not worthy of a podium squad place, Khan added: "Selby said he battered me in sparring - well look what happened then."

The Great Britain and England selectors responded to Khan's comments by pointing out that their original choice at flyweight - Khalid Yafai - had to withdraw through injury, with Tommy Stubbs moving up to flyweight as a result.

They added that their decision to select Yafai and Stubbs in the GB and England squads is justified by Khalid's silver medal at the European Championships in Moscow earlier this year and Stubbs's gold medal at the European Union Championships in 2009. Selby is also a European bronze medallist.

"Like many boxers outside of the Olympic squad, Haroon has been assessed by the GB Boxing coaches and his progress was being monitored," added Rob McCracken, performance director of GB Boxing and head coach of the England team at the Commonwealth Games.

"He boxes in a weight category (54Kg until recently and now 52Kg) where we have significant strength in depth.

"The record of these boxers in international competitions this year, which saw them win a silver medal and two bronze at the European Championships in Moscow, indicates that our judgement on this is correct.

"Khalid and Andrew's records are tried and tested. They've had outstanding results in the past that Haroon hasn't had yet. The door was wide open but he hasn't won anything of significance yet domestically.

"I don't see why it is an issue - they have to win things to get their chance. When you go into the national championships and you don't win them it impacts on your opportunities.

"Haroon was on our radar and if he performed well in competitions and showed significant progress he might have forced his way into contention for 2012. However, he has denied himself that opportunity by choosing to compete for Pakistan.

"Haroon has done well at the Commonwealth Games but to suggest our policy on selection is based on anything other than merit is not supported by the facts and ignores the fantastic performance of the Olympic boxing squad in international competitions in 2010."

In August 2010, Boxing News' amateur rankings placed Khan ninth in his weight category behind two members of the GB Boxing squad (ranked first and third) and three other English boxers.

The main talent identification opportunity for domestic boxers is the senior ABA Championships - in the 2010 ABAs, Khan lost before the quarter-finals.



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see also
Khan beats Selby to reach semi-final
09 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Amir Khan's brother wins opener
05 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Saturday 9 October
20 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games


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