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Chinese super heavy boxer makes Olympic semifinal for first time
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Chinese super heavy (+91 kg) boxer Zhang Zhilei checked into the semifinals at the Beijing Olympic Games here on Monday, achieving a breakthrough for China in the event.

He crushed Ruslan Myrsatayev from Kazakhstan at 12-2, securing at least a medal in the event. Previously, China's best boxing result at Olympic Games was the bronze medal won by light flyweight boxer Zou Shiming at the Athens Games.

A bronze medalist at last year's World Championships, Zhang has long arms with a height of 2 meters, making him easier to get points and more difficult to be punched by the 1.85-meter-tall Myrsatayev.

Zhang knocked his rival to ground twice during the competition.

"I am more flexible than my opponent tonight," said Zhang.

Zhang said he learned from the boxing legend Ali on footwork, which proved to be effective.

Myrsatayev, 23, went into tears after the bitter defeat.

Earlier on Monday, Chinese feather weight (57 kg) boxer Li Yang was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Vasyl Lomachenko from Ukraine at 2-11. Despite his courage and fierceness, the 26-year-old Chinese boxer failed to get points from his rival, who is six years younger and good at defense.

Li lost to Lomachenko on tie-break in the semifinals of the 2007 World Champions. Lemachenko became the silver medalist eventually at that time.

(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2008)

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