Shiva Thapa strikes gold at Asian Championships

Shiva ThapaShiva Thapa (PTI)

Teen sensation Shiva Thapa (56kg) reaffirmed his status as the rising star of Indian boxing as he became the youngest pugilist from the country to clinch a gold medal at the Asian Championships in Amman, Jordan today.

India, suspended internationally for nearly a year now due to administrative wrangling in the federation, rounded off the campaign with a gold, two silver and a bronze while fighting under the International Boxing Association's flag.

The silver medals came through L Devendro Singh (49kg) and Mandeep Jangra (69kg), while the bronze was bagged by Manoj Kumar (64kg).

The 19-year-old from Assam, defeated home favourite Obada Alkabeh on a split decision of 2-1 after fighting out a tactically superior bout.

The nimble-footed boxer, who made his Olympic debut in London last year, thus followed Suranjoy Singh (2009) and Rajkumar Sangwan (1994) into the history books as a rare Indian gold-medallist at the premier continental event.

"Shiva fought an excellent bout. He applied his brain and dominated all three rounds. The decision may have been split but he was clearly the better boxer among the two," national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told PTI from Amman.

But it was disappointment for another rising star L Devendro Singh (49kg), who went down fighting to Kazakhstan's Temertas Zhussupov, the Strandja Memorial Tournament winner from Kazakhstan.

Devendro, also a London Olympian, lost on a split decision of 1-2

"It was a very close bout. Devendro fought his heart out and even though he lost, I am very satisfied with his performance. To me he is shaping up to be an excellent boxer," said Sandhu.

"It is a brilliant performance considering the circumstances in Indian boxing . None of my boys disappointed me. Even the ones who lost, gave fine performances, I am very happy," he added.

Both these boxers are being managed by Anglian Medal-Hunt Company and Olympic Gold Quest.

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