Thapa lives out a dream in Belgrade

Thapa lives out a dream in Belgrade

The 17-year-old from Assam was the youngest in the bantam weight (56kg) draw of the Winners Invitational Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia where India had been invited for the very first time. The country’s boxers did reasonably well signing off with a couple of gold and a bronze medal.

Commonwealth Games gold-medallist and Asian Games bronze-winner Paramjeet Samota (+91kg) expectedly got a gold, while Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg) settled for a bronze in the event. Shiva beat Bulgaria’s Detelin Dalakliev, the world champion from the 2009 Milan edition, despite trailing by a couple of points in the first two rounds.

“I didn’t even know I was fighting a world champion. The coaches didn’t tell me before the bout. It was only after I beat him that one of the coaches came running to me to say that ‘Shiva you beat a world champion’,” Shiva, who is for now supported by the Olympic Gold Quest, said after arriving in the country with the rest of the team. Shiva, who had done well for himself in the youth events, winning a silver in the world championships and a bronze in the inaugural Youth Olympics, was the youngest in the Indian team that participated in the event.

But boxing at the senior level was altogether a different ball game as he faced rivals much stronger and taller than him.

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