Silver For Shiva Thapa At Asian Boxing Championships
Shiva Thapa became the first Indian to claim three back-to-back medals at the event.
Shiva had won medals in 2013 and 2015
He lost to local favourite Elnur Abduraimov in the final
Shiva had changed his division to lightweight in December
Shiva Thapa (60kg) had to settle for silver after an injury-forced loss in the final of the Asian Boxing Championships in Tashkent on Saturday. Up against the local favourite Elnur Abduraimov, he lost in a split verdict after a head-butt from his opponent resulted in a cut. It happened in the final few seconds, thus forcing a stoppage by the referee.
Shiva, however, became the first Indian to claim three back-to-back medals at the event. He won a gold in 2013 and a bronze in the 2015 editions. "I am happy to have achieved the twin targets of a medal as well as qualification for the World Championships. This is my first international medal in lightweight and I always had the self-belief that I could achieve it," Shiva said.
The World Championships bronze-medallist in bantamweight (56kg), shifted to lightweight in December last year. He went on to win a gold medal at the National Championships before a couple of early losses in tournaments in Bulgaria and Thailand. "It was a big decision and I am glad I have managed to prove myself. I was very clear that I wanted to compete in lightweight and even though it didn't go quite well in a couple of tournaments, I knew I could do it," he said.
The 23-year-old defeated Olympic bronze-medallist, Asian Games gold-medallist and top seed Dorjnyambuu Otgondalai of Mongolia in the semifinal on Friday, during which he also sustained a cut above his eye.
There was also some disappointment for India with Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) losing his box-off for a World Championship slot to Japan's Ryomei Tanaka in a split verdict. The World Championships are due to be held in August-September and the top six boxers from each weight category will qualify for the mega-event in Germany.
(With PTI inputs)