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Manus wins gold after defeating Cuban : On August 29, 2004
Manus Boonjumnong won another gold medal for Thailand early this morning after winning his final in the light welterweight division in Athens.
The Thai defeated Cuban Yudel Johnson Cedeno after making a great start and leading every round.
After the first round he led 6-2, then the Cuban fought back to narrow the gap to 9-6 in the Thai's favour in the second round.
Manus stepped on the gas in the third round, which he won 14-10 and in the final round managed to stay out of the Cuban's way and land more point-scoring punches on his increasingly desperate opponent.
He won the final round 17-11 and another gold medal for the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Worapoj Petchkoom is set to be the final Thai to vie for a gold medal in this year's Olympics when he steps onto the canvas to fight defending champion Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba in the bantamweight (54kg) division this evening, Bangkok time.
Worapoj, the pre-tournament underdog, fought his way to the final with an impressive 27-19 victory over world bantamweight champion Aghasi Mammadov of Azerbaijan early yesterday morning, Bangkok time.
Thailand has won three gold and four bronze medals so far in this year's Olympics.
Weightlifters Udomporn Pol-sak and Pawina Thongsuk dominated the women's 53kg and 75kg divisions respectively to win the Thailand's first two gold medals in Athens, the most the country has ever received in a single Olympics.
Two other female weightlifters snatched the bronze, Aree Wiratthaworn in the women's 48kg division and Wandee Kameaim in the 58kg division. Taekwando exponent Yaowapa Boorapolchai added a third Thai bronze after battling her way through the last match of the women's under-49kg division.
Although Rigondeaux will be a tough nut to crack, Worapoj has vowed to try his hardest.
"I know he's good. He's smart, and that's the way boxing goes today. We use brains instead of mindlessly throwing punches. At this point there's no turning back. I'll fight to the last second," said Worapoj, whose confidence was boosted upon receiving
the blessings of His Majesty the King.
"I'm overwhelmed. His encouragement means so much to me. If I can win the gold medal, I'll present it to His Majesty," Worapoj vowed.
The 23-year-old three-time King's Cup champion is the second Thai boxer to reach the Olympic finals, after light-welterweight Manus.
Thailand has already won one bronze medal in boxing, by dark-horse Suriya Prasathinphimai in the middleweight (75kg) division.
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