Wunderkind Shiva Thapa (56kg) continued to ride his purple patch as he advanced into the last round of championship at the?43rd Men's and Women's Boxing Grand Prix at ?st? nad Labem, Czech Republic. But Olympic bound boxer Vikas Krishan (69kg) had to be content with a bronze medal performance as he ended up on the losing side of his semi-final bout.
Shiva, a 2010 Youth Olympics silver medallist was up against local lad Velky Patrik in the penultimate round of the championship. The 18 year old, once again made an aggressive start and owing to several lightening fast combinations and reflexes, he piled a lead of 4 points by end of the second round. In the final round, Shiva warded-off some heavy hitting from the Czech boxer and kept adding to his point tally with remarkable counter attacks. In the end he went on to secure his place in the final clash of the bantam weight division with a 9:5 victory on points. Thapa has already cemented his place in the Indian squad for the Asian Olympic Qualifying tournament in Kazakhstan, beating his more experienced counterparts for the spot.?“I have a good rhythm going on in the tournament and am very happy with my performance. I hope carry on the same form in the finals as well”,?expressed Shiva from the Czech Republic. In the summit clash the Assamese lad will take on Italian boxer Vittorio Jahyn Parrinnelo.
Vikas, who has already secured a berth at the London Olympics, fought well against Arisnoide Despaigne of Cuba, but in the end came up short.??The score was knotted at 2 all after the opening three minutes of play. But with the beginning of the second round the Cuban, with his more aggressive approach, slowly started to take the game away from Vikas. Vikas, the Asian Games gold medallist tried to reduce the margin but failed to gain the advantage. He lost 9:14 on points. The 20 year old Indian will have to make do with a bronze medal performance from this tour.
Team Coach Jagdeep Hooda said,?“Both the boxers fought well, unfortunately Vikas lost. Shiva has been in good form and has been doing well consistently on the senior tour. He has worked hard at the camps and improved his overall game. Today he fought with good spirit and moved well in the ring.”???????
Earlier in the tournament Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg) made a strong start in his opening round bout, drubbing Ruslan Shabloski of Belarus (RSC OC, Round 2), but the Olympic bound boxer was defeated in the round two of the light welter weight division by former world champion Roniel Iglesias. London Olympic-qualified Jai Bhagwan (60kg) and Tammer Cup silver medallist Sumit Sangwan (81kg) had a bad day at office as both lost their opening round bouts in the championship.
In the women’s division Asian Games bronze medallist Kavita Goyat (75kg), Van Lal Duati (51kg) and Preeti Beniwal (60kg) also lost in the first round of the championship.