It was fun to fight in front of partisan crowd: Shiva Thapa
New Delhi: The last time he competed at the Asian Championships, Shiva Thapa had to retire hurt but three years later, the teen sensation has more than made up for that by becoming the youngest Indian boxer to win gold at the event defeating a local lad in front of a hugely partisan crowd.
"The hurt is over. I was carrying it with me for a long time. My shoulder gave way in the last Asian Championship in Korea in 2011 but everything went just perfectly this time," the 19-year-old told PTI from Jordan`s capital city Amman where the event concluded today with India managing a gold, two silver and a bronze medal.
The Assam-lad, who last year became the youngest Indian to qualify for the Olympics, put up a commanding performance to beat home favourite Obada Alkabeh on a split decision of 2-1.
"I had to shut my mind to the noise outside. Being the local boy, he was favourite and everybody was rooting for him. I had to stay focused and not get distracted," he explained.
"It was a good fight and I enjoyed because it`s fun to fight in front of a partisan crowd. The kind that motivates you to fight even harder," he added.
The lone disappointment for him was not getting to hear the national anthem while at the podium to receive his medal because of India`s international suspension.
"It was a bit strange but that`s how it is. It doesn`t matter though because at heart we know who we are and can be proud of it," he said.
The youngest Olympic qualifier, the youngest Asian Championships gold-medallist but Shiva does not feel he has exceeded his expectations.
"I wanted all this from the age I started boxing, which is 9. I have worked damn hard for these results and I am not going to be modest and say that I did not expect this," he said.
"I have made sacrifices for these results, stayed away from my family, put in hours of training, maintained weight, done everything, it would have been shattering not to get a medal," he added.
But asked whether he was expecting a gold medal, the reply was a prompt "yes."
"I hope for a gold always because it is about how badly you want success. To be youngest to do a couple of things, you need to be motivated all the time," he said.
"I try to do that, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn`t but I can`t really think about the disappointments because I believe in looking ahead," he added.