Teenage boxers Shiva Thapa and Sumit Sangwan have made India proud by securing not just the Olympic berths but also clinching the gold medals in their respective categories at the Asian qualifying tournament in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The 18-year-old Shiva (56kg), who is the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics, defeated Syria\\\’s Wessam Salamana 18-11 to clinch his second successive senior international gold medal. The 19-year-old Sumit (81kg) beat Tajikistan\\\’s Dzhakon Qurbanov 14-9 to bag his maiden senior international gold in his debut event.
Altogether seven Indian boxers have qualified for the London Games and this is going to be the country\\\’s biggest ever representation in the sport in Olympics.
Vijender Singh (75kg) booked a London berth by making the semi-finals of the last qualifiers for the July-August mega-event. Four Indian boxers — L Devendro Singh (49kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Vikas Krishan (69kg) – had already booked their Olympic berths in last year\\\’s World Championship.
Pleased with the performance of his young wards, Coach G.S. Sandhu said he could not ask for anything more.
"Shiva and Sumit have shown great maturity for their age; the way they read their opponents and adapt is extra ordinary. Both the lads are very good with their timing and counter attacks. They are great future prospects for India," said Sandhu.
Happy with his performance Shiva said, all his hard work has paid dividends and its like a dream come true for him. "I just wanted to win. In boxing, it\\\’s about getting the maximum points on the board. I was thinking just that in the third round," Shiva recalled.
Sumit too was visibly excited about the upcoming London Olympics. Beating the best boxers from the continent has taken my confidence to a new level," he said.