Indian boxer Shiva Thapa (60kg) had to settle for a silver medal after an injury-forced loss in the at the Asian Boxing Championships. However, with this medal Thapa became the first Indian to claim three back-to-back medals at the event. Fourth-seeded Shiva Thapa was facing second seed Elnur Abduraimov but lost in a split verdict after a head butt from his opponent resulted in a cut.It was in the final few seconds of the opening round when Shiva Thapa sustained a cut which forced the referee to stop the match.
“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,” Thapa said after the match. Earlier Shiva, edged past Kyrgyzstan’s Omurbek Malabekov in a split verdict to make the last-eight stage. Shiva Thapa then made it to the final after defeating Mongolia’s Otgondalai Dorjnyambuu, Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist.
It may be recalled here that India had won four medals at the last Asian Boxing Championships in 2015. Vikas had won the country its lone silver medal, while Shiva, L Devendro Singh (52kg) and Satish (+91kg) had settled for bronze medals. India’s last gold medal at the Asian meet had come in 2013 through Shiva, when he was competing in the bantamweight division. Prior to that M Suranjoy Singh (52kg) had won a gold medal in the 2009 edition of the Championship.