Shiva Thapa opened India’s gold medal account in the ongoing President's Cup in Kazakhstan after his opponent sustained an injury and could not compete in the final. This was the boxer’s international debut in the 63 kg category and he stated that he has able to adapt easily to the same.
Kazakhstan's Zakir Safiullin could not take the ring on Saturday and had to pull out of the race for the gold medal because of an injury which effectively crowned India’s Shiva Thapa as the champion. The two had gone to head to Asian Championships earlier this year and the Kazakhstani had emerged victorious but this time it was not to be for him.
This was Thapa’s first international tournament in the newly introduced Olympic category of 63 kg. The four-time Asian medallist had reached the summit clash after defeating Kyrgyzstan's Argon Kadiribekuulu 4-1 in the penultimate round. He had previously been competing in the 60 kg category.
“The new weight category has been easy to adapt. I have not faced too much difficulty. Obviously, there are challenges of facing boxers who are coming from 64kg, given their power but nothing is impossible,” Thapa was reported saying by TOI.
It was a much-needed victory for the young Indian after he had failed to qualify for the upcoming World Championships, having lost to Manish Kaushik who had bagged a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games.
"Shiva had a great tournament, beating some really fancied opponents It was an impressive performance,” India's High Performance Director Santiago Nieva said of Thapa’s performance.
In other categories, compatriots Sweety Boora(81 kg) and Duryodhan Singh Negi(69 kg) won the Bronze medals in their respective category having lost in the semifinals. Female boxer Parveen(60 kg) had to make do with silver after losing the title clash to local boxer Rimma Volosenko.