Eighteen-year-old Shiva Thapa and 19-year-old Sumit Sangwan made the cut for the Olympics as they entered the finals of the Asian Olympic qualification event in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday.

Continuing his giant-killing act, Thapa posted a crushing 31-17 win over 2009 Asian championship bronze medallist Satoshi Shimizu of Japan in a 56kg semifinal contest.

Sangwan defeated Arab Games champion Ihab Al-Matbouli of Jordan 24-12 in the 81kg semifinals.

So far, seven Indian boxers, including three from this event, have qualified for the 2012 London Games.

L. Devendro Singh (49kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Vikas Krishan (69kg) booked a berth on the strength of fine performances in the World championship last year.

World and Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh (75kg) earned a slot by reaching the semifinals of the ongoing continental qualifier.

Youth Olympics silver medal winner Thapa, trailing 6-7 after the first round, made a dramatic comeback to snatch 15 points in the second and led 21-13 before the decider. He produced another power-packed performance in the final three minutes to register a comprehensive win.

“Shiva was determined to make the cut and the way he went about his bout was exceptional. He has exhibited great understanding. His maturity, coupled with his talent, makes him a brilliant prospect,” said G.S. Sandhu, the chief coach of the Indian team.

In the final, Thapa will meet 2010 Asian Games bronze medal winner Wessam Salamana of Syria. Sangwan, who led 5-3 and 16-7 in the first two rounds, recorded a convincing win over his Jordanian opponent.

The Youth Asian silver medallist will take on Tajikistan's Jakhon Qurbonov, an Asian Games bronze winner in the 91kg category.

Vijender loses

Meanwhile, Vijender lost to Asian championship bronze medallist Nursahat Pazziyev of Turkmenistan 7-10 in the semifinals.

Manpreet Singh (91kg) and Paramjeet Samota (+91kg) also tasted defeat in the last four stage. Manpreet went down 6-13 to Iran's Ali Mazahari, while Samota lost to Soumar Ghosoun of Syria 12-23.

Keywords: boxingOlympics 2012

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