Monday, 13 August 2012
Olympics Boxing: Klitschko Proud As Classy Lomachenko Wins Gold
LONDON, England -- Ukraine's professional heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko was on hand to see his compatriot Vasyl Lomachenko prove once again why he is the best in the amateur ranks as the lightweight romped to a second successive Olympic gold on Sunday. Lomachenko was just about the hottest favourite of the London Games after he followed up the featherweight gold he won with ease in Beijing four years ago with a world title apiece at both feather and lightweight class. It was the same story in London when he rarely had to move into top gear despite moving up a class and he had too much for South Korea's Han Soon-chul, easing to a 19-9 victory and earning a congratulatory hug from Klitschko at ringside. "The first time I was a bit more excited, I am more calm now but I am still very happy and delighted to win another medal," Lomachenko told reporters. The irrepressible Lomachenko was in a different league to the Korean, taking the first round 7-2 with fierce right and left upper-cuts, punishing body shots topped off with sleek footwork that is almost unmatched among the amateur game. The 24-year-old Ukrainian, who sports a tattoo of his father and coach Anatoly's face on his abdomen, continued boxing the kind of fight that would please any coach, keeping Han at bay to widen his lead by a point. He was able to take his foot off the gas in the final round and coast to a victory. Lomachenko, who will join the Olympic boxing governing body's professional league next year meaning he will still be eligible to go for a third gold in 2016, cracked his first smile of the Games when the result was announced. Putting two fingers in the air to acknowledge both his second gold and the second for Ukraine at the Games, Lomachenko left the ring draped in the Ukrainian flag. "I'm really proud of my countryman Lomachenko, it is not a common thing to win two times," Klitschko said from ringside. "It would be really exciting to see him in a professional ring." Lomanchenko jokingly wiped sweat from his brow as he stood on the podium to collect his gold, while losing semi-finalists Yasniel Toledo Lopez of Cuba and Evaldas Petrauskas of Lithuania took bronze. The Ukrainian's father and trainer Anatoliy was full of praise for his son's achievement. "It's always harder to protect your position rather than get it. It's always harder to stay on top than get there," he told reporters.