Four-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa became India’s first gold medallist at the President’s Cup boxing tournament after getting a walkover in the finals in Astana, Kazakhstan on Saturday (July 20).
Making his international debut in the newly-introduced Olympic category of 63 kg, Thapa was to fight Kazakhstan’s Zakir Safiullin in the summit clash but his opponent had to pull out due to injury. Thapa had lost to Safiullin in the Asian Championship semifinal earlier this year.
Signing off with a silver medal was woman boxer Parveen (60 kg) who lost her final bout to Rimma Volosenko. “The new weight category has been easy to adapt. I have not faced too much difficulty. Obviously, there are challenges of facing boxers who are coming from 64 kg, given their power but nothing is impossible,” Thapa, a 60 kg category boxer before the rejigging of Olympic divisions.
Thapa couldn’t make the cut for the September world championships after losing in the trials to Commonwealth Games silver-winner Manish Kaushik. Thapa had defeated Kyrgyzstan’s Argon Kadiribekuulu 4-1 in the last-four stage bout.
“Shiva had a great tournament, beating some really fancied opponents. It was an impressive performance,” said India’s High-Performance Director Santiago Nieva. Earlier, Sweety Boora (81 kg) and Duryodhan Singh Negi (69 kg) had ended their campaign with bronze medals following semifinal defeats.