Nineteen-year-old Shiva Thapa overcame home challenger Obada Alkabeh in a thrilling final to win the 56kg title in the Asian boxing championship at Amman, Jordan, on Monday.
However, L. Devendro Singh (49kg) and Mandeep Jangra (69kg) had to settle for the silver after losing in the finals. Overall, India gathered four medals, including a bronze by Manoj Kumar in 64kg.
This was the first major achievement by Thapa, who had won medals in the Youth Olympics and World Youth events and had participated in the London Olympics. The teenager won the final bout on a split decision.
The last time India had bagged a gold medal at the prestigious biennial event was in 2009 when M. Suranjoy Singh had ended the country’s 15-year wait to claim the top honour in the 51kg division.
Thapa was delighted with his effort. “This is a very rewarding win for me. I have been training hard to make sure that I perform to the best of my ability,” said Thapa.
Devendro, another youngster who had performed well in the London Olympics, had to satisfy with the second place after coming up short against Temertas Zhussupov of Kazakhstan in the 49kg summit clash.
Jangra, who had made it to the final after getting past Asian Games bronze medallist Jargal Otgonjargal of Mongolia in the semifinals late on Sunday, lost to 2010 Asian Games gold medallist Daniyar Yeleussinov of Kazakhstan following a unanimous decision.