Shiva, Sumit book medals and World C’ship slots at Asian meet

Four Indian boxers, including fourth seed Shiva Thapa (60kg), qualified for the World Championships and assured themselves of medals by advancing to the semifinals of the Asian Championships here.

Shiva, assured himself of a third successive Asian Championships medal, by sailing past Chinese Taipei’s Chu-En Lai.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Top seed Vikas Krishan (75kg) and fourth seed Shiva Thapa (60kg) were among four Indian boxers who qualified for the World Championships and assured themselves of medals by advancing to the Asian Championships semifinals here on Wednesday.

Sumit Sangwan (91kg) and Amit Phangal (49kg) were the other two Indian boxers to book medals as well as World Championship slots in the prestigious continental event. While it was a third successive medal assured at the event for Shiva, Vikas secured a second successive for himself. Shiva had won a gold at 2013 edition and followed it up with a bronze in 2015.

Vikas, on the other hand, was the lone silver medallist for India in the 2015 edition.

Sumit gave India its first win of the day when he stunned third-seeded Chinese Fengkai Yu 4-1. The former Asian Olympic Qualifiers’ gold medallist put his long reach to effective use against an opponent, who was thrown off balance every time he tried to attack.

Sumit will now face second seed Jakhon Qurbonov of Tajikistan in the semifinals on Friday after a rest day on Thursday. Qurbonov outpunched Pakistan’s Mehmood Sanaullah in his quarterfinal bout. In the afternoon session Amit Phangal (49kg) gave India a good start by getting the better of fourth seed Cornelis Kwangu Langu of Indonesia 4-1. Langu, a South East Asian Games gold medallist, found it tough to keep pace with the Indian.

Although Langu was clearly the more attacking of the two boxers, he was mostly found wanting on accuracy. Amit is up for a tough one in the semifinals, where he will square off against Uzbekistan’s Olympic gold medallist Hasanboy Dusmatov.

Counter-attacking Shiva

Shiva, meanwhile, sailed past Chinese Taipei’s Chu-En Lai in his quarterfinal bout.

Shiva was clearly the superior of the two boxers in footwork and accuracy. The Indian, who is also a World Championships bronze medallist, left Lai befuddled with his counter attacking approach. The Assam lad will face top seed Chinzorig Baatarsukh in his semifinal clash on Friday. Vikas was up against Indonesia’s Brama Hendra Betaubun.

Though Betaubun was quite a match for Vikas in aggression, the Indian dominated by not just defending well but also by using his right hook to good effect. Vikas will now face fourth seed Dongyun Lee of Korea in the semifinals. However, it was heartbreak for Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg), who opened the proceedings for India in the morning session as he lost to second seeded Chinese Jiawei Zhang.

Gaurav went down 2-3 in a bout marred by excessive clinching and holding. Both the boxers ended up being warned by the referee for their tactics. In the end, Zhang came out triumphant with his clean straight punches even though Bidhuri had also struck some lusty body blows.

However, all is not lost for Bidhuri as he can still claim a place in the August-September World Championships, to be held in Germany, if he beats Japan’s Ryomei Tanaka in the box-off.

Tanaka lost his quarterfinal bout to third seed Kairat Yeraliyev of Kazakhstan.

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