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Vikas, Shiva in YWC SFs, qualify for Youth Olympics

New Delhi: Asian champion Vikas Krishan (60kg) and Shiva Thapa (54kg) assured themselves of not just a medal but also a berth in the Youth Olympic Games after qualifying for the semifinals of the World Youth Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan today.

While Shiva thrashed Russian Vadim Semin 13-3, Vikas
blanked Ireland`s Michael O`Reilly 8-0 in his quarterfinal
bout.

The wins take them into the medal rounds of the
tournament and the main draw of the inaugural Youth Olympics,
scheduled August-September in Singapore.

However, it was curtains for J Bhaskar (51kg), who lost
to local favourite Shaban Shahpalangov.

The Indian was trailing 2-14 with little over a minute
left in the bout when the referee stopped the bout. Bhaskar
had faced the eight-count twice at that stage, enough for the
bout to be called off at the youth level.

But Shiva and Vikas continued their rampaging form in an
event which features over 450 boxers from 90 countries.

Shiva, a diminutive counter-puncher from Assam, came to
the ring after India`s campaign had suffered a setback due to
Bhaskar`s loss and he ensured that the smiles were back in the
camp with a thumping victory.

The Hyder Aliyev Cup gold medallist took a handy 5-1 lead
in the first round itself and added four more points to his
tally in the second round.

"Semin was taller then me in height but I had studied him
well before going into the bout. He likes to strike straight
but whenever he tried hitting, I counter-attacked with right
crosses and hooks," Shiva told PTI from Baku.

"I cornered him and as the gap widened between the two of
us, he lost his cool also," he added.

The final three minutes belonged to the Indian completely
as he didn`t let his opponent connect a single scoring punch
to finish it off 13-3 in the end.

After a rest day tomorrow, Shiva will face Roumania`s
Alexandru Marin, who defeated Welsh Zack Davies 9-7 in a
closely-contest bout.

After Shiva, it was Vikas` turn to put in a power-packed
show. Fresh from his Asian Youth Championships gold medal last
month, the Haryana-boxer pulled off five of his eight points
in the first round itself.

He took his easy from there on against an opponent who
hardly troubled him and made it 2-0 and 1-0 in the next two
rounds respectively.

"It was an excellent performance by Vikas. He has gone
from strength to strength with every bout," said coach G
Manoharan.

Vikas will also get a break tomorrow and face Germany`s
Thomas Vahrenholt, who got the better of Armenia`s Hryar
Matevosyan, in the semifinals tomorrow.

PTI

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