World championship bronze medallist Shiva Thapa qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics on Thursday after winning silver in the Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament. However, top-seed Mary Kom crashed out in the semi-final of the women’s 51kg category after losing to Ren Cancan of China.
Top-seed Shiva Thapa lived up to his ranking and defeated AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Kairat Yeraliyev comfortably to enter the final in the Men’s Bantamweight class (56 kg). In the final, Thapa faced second seed Chatchai Butdee of Thailand. The 22-year old went down 0-3 to the Thai boxer to win the silver at the tournament
By winning the silver, Thapa also became the first Indian to qualify for the Rio Olympics. 2016 Olympics will be the second appearance of the 22-year old in the quadrennial event after he became the youngest Indian boxer to participate in the Olympics four years ago.
"I want to thank god for having managed to achieve this. I was very worked up about this bout, it was the most important bout for me. So I am totally exhausted and relieved at the same time," Shiva told PTI.
"I have very little time at hand for rest and recovery as the final bout is tomorrow itself. So, it's slowly sinking in. I can't thank enough my coaches and all those who supported me in this journey. I hope to come good on expectations this time by winning an Olympic medal," he said.
However, there was also disappointment in store for the Indians as five-time World Champion Mary Kom crashed out of the tournament in the semis after losing to Chinese pugilist Ren Cancan. With only the top two qualifying for the Olympics in the women’s events, Mary Kom settled for the bronze medal in the Women’s Flyweight class (51 kg). The 2012 Olympics Bronze medallist will have another chance to qualify for the Olympics in the World Boxing Championships in May.
In the Men’s Light Flyweight class (49 kg) category, India’s London 2012 Olympian Devendro Laishram Singh suffered a defeat in the semi-final yesterday to top seed Rogen Ladon of Philippines. Devendro, who had a chance to qualify for the Olympics by winning the play-off, saw his chances going up in smoke after suffering a defeat at the hands of Gankhuyag
* The results of the final day, which saw Shiva Thapa settling for the silver and Devendro losing in the play-off were added on April 1, 4.26pm.
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