Shiva strikes gold at Asian Championships
New Delhi: Teen sensation Shiva Thapa (56kg) reaffirmed his status as the rising star of Indian boxing as he became the youngest pugilist from the country to clinch a gold medal at the Asian Championships in Amman, Jordan on Monday.
India, suspended internationally for nearly a year now due to administrative wrangling in the federation, rounded off the campaign with a gold, two silver and a bronze while fighting under the International Boxing Association`s flag.
The silver medals came through L Devendro Singh (49kg) and Mandeep Jangra (69kg), while the bronze was bagged by Manoj Kumar (64kg).
The 19-year-old from Assam, defeated home favourite Obada Alkabeh on a split decision of 2-1 after fighting out a tactically superior bout.
Devendro, also a London Olympian, lost on a split decision of 1-2.
"It was a very close bout. Devendro fought his heart out and even though he lost, I am very satisfied with his performance. To me he is shaping up to be an excellent boxer," said Sandhu.
"It is a brilliant performance considering the circumstances in Indian boxing . None of my boys disappointed me. Even the ones who lost, gave fine performances, I am very happy," he added.
Both these boxers are being managed by Anglian Medal-Hunt Company and Olympic Gold Quest.
Mandeep also ended up on the losing side after putting up a gallant fight to settle for silver. He lost to 2010 Asian Games gold-medallist Daniyar Yeleussinov of Kazakhstan.
"Mandeep is very young and inexperienced but he fought very well, showed a lot of heart and produced a brilliant performance. Everybody expected his to be a one-sided bout but Mandeep matched him blow for blow," said Sandhu.