Teenage boxers Shiva Thapa and Sumit Sangwan capped their fine performances with title wins in the Asian Olympic boxing qualification event in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Thursday.
In the 56kg final, Thapa defeated 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist Wessam Salamana of Syria 18-11 to complete a string of giant-killing acts — which also claimed Athens Olympics silver medallist and Guangzhou Asian Games winner Worapoj Petchkoon of Thailand and 2009 Asian championship bronze medallist Satoshi Shimizu of Japan — and bag the gold medal.
Counter-puncher Sangwan got the better of Tajikistan's Jakhon Qurbanov, an Asian Games bronze winner in 91kg, 14-9 to secure the 81kg gold.
“Shiva and Sumit have shown great maturity. The way they read their opponents and adapted was extraordinary. Both are very good with their timing and counterattacks. They have a great future,” said G.S. Sandhu, the chief coach of the Indian team.
India, which had fielded six boxers, finished the event with two gold and three bronze medals (Vijender Singh-75kg, Manpreet Singh-91kg and Paramjeet Samota-over-91kg).
More importantly, the country gathered three Olympic slots through Thapa, Sangwan and Vijender. Altogether seven Indian boxers have qualified for the London Games and this is going to be the country's biggest ever representation in the sport in Olympics.
The women boxers will go through the Olympic qualification process in May.