Great Tongan hope falls short in gold-medal quest

Published Aug. 5, 1996|Updated Sept. 16, 2005

Tonga's dream of a sensational gold medal was dashed Sunday when super-heavyweight Paea Wolfgramm, fighting with a broken nose and wrist, was beaten in the final.

Thailand also won its first Olympic gold.

Wolfgramm, who caused the major upset of the tournament by beating mighty Cuban Alexis Rubalcaba in the quarterfinals, took Tonga's first medal _ a silver _ after losing to Ukraine's Vladimir Klichko 7-3.

He stunned reporters afterward by revealing that he fought despite a broken wrist and nose. "I was willing for it (the wrist) to break into 2,000 pieces if necessary," he said.

The best boxer of the tournament was officially Kazakhstan's Vasilii Jirov, who won his country's first boxing gold in the light heavyweight division and the Val Barker trophy for the top fighter.

Thai featherweight Somluck Kamsing, whose light flyweight brother, Somrot, lost in the quarterfinals, said after his win that he would give his medal to the country's king, who this year marks the 50th golden jubilee of his coronation.

The soldier beat Bulgarian world champion Serafim Todorov 8-5 after leading from start to finish.

Hector Vinent also has two gold medals after completing a trio of Cubans who retained their titles.

The light welterweight outpointed Germany's Oktay Urkal 20-13 to join middleweight Ariel Hernandez and heavyweight Felix Savon in winning their second titles in a row.

Flyweight Maikro Romero made a remarkable third-round comeback for Cuba's first gold of the day.

He beat Kazakhstan's Bulat Dzumadilov 12-11 after landing the winning blow 35 seconds from the end.