Wunderkind Shiva Thapa (56kg) came agonisingly close to claiming the bantam weight title at the?43rd Men's and Women's Boxing Grand Prix at ?st? nad Labem, Czech Republic, falling short of the gold medal in the last stretch. Thapa, who has already cemented his place in the Indian squad for the Asian Olympic Qualifying tournament to be held in Kazakhstan ? beating his more experienced counterparts for the spot, exhibited great skill and execution through-out the tournament. In the finals also, he fought well but unfortunately ended up on the losing end and had to settle with a silver medal performance from the tour.
In the summit clash, against Italian boxer Vittorio Jahyn Parrinnelo, Shiva started well keeping pace with his opponent for most part of bout and there was not much separating the two fighters. After the opening three minutes of play the scores were level at 2-2, and 5-5 at the end of the second round. In the final round a warning given by the referee to Thapa, in the closing stages of the bout, for bending too much, cost him dearly.??The two point penalty handed to the Indian boxer proved to be the decider. Shiva lost the bout on points 7:10.?“It was a not an easy fight, I was not happy with the warning, but I guess one has to live with it. It was a disappointing end to the tour. But I am happy with my overall performance”, expressed Shiva from the Czech Republic.
Team coach Jagdeep Hooda who is accompanying the team said,?“The warning given by the referee was the turning point of the game and its timing was decisive, there was not enough time for Shiva to come back from that setback. He fought really well, unfortunately ended up on the losing side. But overall he has put up a good show and bodes really well for his future”.
India will return from the tournament with two medals. A silver medal for Shiva and a bronze medal won by Olympic bound, Vikas Krishan (69kg). Krishan, the?Asian Games gold medallist lost his semi-final bout Arisnoide Despaigne of Cuba.???
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.