The young and fearless Shiva Thapa was beaten in the first round of the bantamweight category, losing 14-9 to Oscar Valdez Fierro of Mexico, as the Indian boxers opened their Olympic campaign at the ExCel Arena here on Saturday.
The 18-year-old Thapa fought better in the second round, after conceding a 2-4 lead in the first, to bridge the gap to 6-7.
However, the Mexican was solid in the third round and doubled his points as he broke through Thapa’s defence with impunity. Thapa could only land three scoring punches in this round.
“I was a little rusty at first, a little nervous. I was a bit tired, that is how it is with first fights,’’ said Fierro.
The Assamese boxer’s inexperience showed, though he had displayed a lot of spirit and skill while winning the Olympic qualifying event, beating the likes of Athens silver medallist and the reigning Asian Games gold medallist, Worapoj Petchkoon of Thailand.
Soniya Chanu failed to match her best and finished seventh with a total lift of 171kg in the women’s 48kg category in the Olympics on Saturday.
After a lot of a false projection that a medal may be possible at 178kg, it was an expected blow for the 32-year-old who had done well to finish sixth at the last world championship. For the record, she fell 20kg short for a medal.
Soniya had a lift of 74 in snatch, in which she failed with a lift of 75, and 97 in clean and jerk which she achieved on her second attempt.
There was no doubt that Soniya was easily the best lifter in India, after she had won the silver in the Commonwealth Games and had finished fourth in the Asian championship, but it was a distant dream to count an Olympic medal.
Wang Mingiuan of China won the gold with a lift of 205kg, while Hiromi Miyake (197) of Japan and Chun Hwa Ryang (192) of South Korea won the silver and bronze respectively.