Olympic qualifiers: Mary Kom, Shiva Thapa storm into semis

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - Shiva Thapa

Olympic qualifiers: Mary Kom, Shiva Thapa storm into semis

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Arun S Kaimal

03/30/2016

Indian pugilists Mary Kom, Shiva Thapa and Devendro Singh entered the semi-final of the Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Tuesday after registering convincing wins. With the wins, the boxers are assured at least a bronze, but they will have to enter the final to confirm a ticket to Rio.

Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom was the first to enter the last four after defeating Nesthy Petecio of Philippines 3-0 in a one-sided fight in the quarter-final of the Women’s Flyweight class (51 kg). The veteran boxer is assured of a bronze medal after entering the semi-final, but needs to enter the final to confirm a place in the Rio Olympics.

Shiva Thapa (56kg) and L Devendro Singh (49kg) competed in the evening session and produced contrasting wins to enter the semi-final. World Championships bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa won the entry to the last four after a tough contest in the quarter-final against Japan's Arashi Morisaka, while L Devendro Singh had an easier route with the Manipuri boxer outpunching Chinese Taipei’s Tu Po-Wei to advance to the semi-finals.

However, L Sarita Devi (60kg), Dheeraj Rangi (60kg) and Praveen Kumar (91kg) bowed out of the tournament in the quarter-final on Tuesday to end India’s hopes of more spots in the Olympics. The semi-final bouts of the Indian pugilists will be held on Thursday with today being a rest day at the Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Qian’an, China.

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