Kakara forced to settle for bronze

Shyam Kakara (49kg) had to be content with a bronze medal after losing a fiercely-contested semifinal bout as India signed off a rather disappointing performance in the World Youth Boxing Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria on Wednesday.

Kakara lost 1-2 to Kazakhstan’s Shalkar Aikhynbay in the last-four stage to settle for a bronze after earlier securing a ticket to the Youth Olympics by going beyond the quarters.

It was an evenly-fought bout. The Indian lost the opening round but came back to clinch the second before falling short in the last round to go down in a split decision.

“Shyam fought very well, the Kazakh could not quite connect his punches but still a loss is a loss.

The only positive is that he managed to qualify for the Youth Olympics,” team’s coach Ramanand told PTI from Sofia.

It is a markedly disappointing show by the Indians, who were competing under the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) flag due to the federation’s international termination.

The country’s boxers had brought home a silver and a couple of bronze medals in the previous edition in 2012 in Armenia.

India’s last gold medal in the event came in 2010 when Vikas Krishan finished on top.

After today, the only Indian interest left in the tournament is the fate of Gaurav Solanki (52kg).

Solanki failed for a second time to qualify for the Youth Olympics after losing in a box-off on Tuesday, but will have another shot on Thursday.

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