Mary Kom, Shiva Thapa to lead Indian charge at Asian Olympic qualifiers

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - Mary Kom

Mary Kom, Shiva Thapa to lead Indian charge at Asian Olympic qualifiers

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Debarshee Mitra


Five-time World Champion Mary Kom and World Championship bronze medallist Shiva Thapa have been selected in the boxing squad for the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in China that begins on March 23. Sarita Devi and Vikas Krishan are also part of the women's and men's squad announced on Tuesday.

The squad for the event, which will be held in the Chinese city of Qian’an, was selected after the trials on March 7 and 8 in Patiala. Both the men’s and women’s squad do not include any surprises with the top stars in each weight category getting the nod.

2012 Olympic bronze medallist M C Mary Kom, 2014 Asian Games bronze-medallist L Sarita Devi and Pooja Rani make up the three-member women squad for the qualifiers. Mary Kom got the nod over Pinki Jangra, who emerged as the biggest rival to the celebrated boxer in the last two years.

Shiva Thapa, who agonisingly missed out on a spot in the Olympics after losing in the third-place play-off at the World Championships, is part of the ten-member strong squad, which also includes Commonwealth Games silver medallists L Devendro Singh, Mandeep Jangra and Asian silver-medallist Vikas Krishan.

The top three men and top two women in each category will qualify for the Olympics, which will be hosted by the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in August. Even if the Indian boxers manage to qualify for the Olympics they could still miss out on the quadrennial event, if a new national boxing federation is not constituted before March 31.

The Squads:

Men: L Devendro Singh (49kg), Gaurav Bidhuri (52kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Dheeraj (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg), Mandeep Jangra (69kg), Vikas Krishan (75kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg), Parveen Kumar (91kg), Satish Kumar (+91kg).

Women: M C Mary Kom (51kg), L Sarita Devi (60kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg).  

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