Shiva Thapa (right) in action during the final bout | Photo Courtesy: BFI

Shiva Thapa (64kg) lost close finals of the Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai and finished with a silver medal on May 31. The 27-year-old pugilist from Guwahati suffered a close defeat by split 2-3 decision against Asian Games silver medallist Mongolia’s Baatarsukh Chinzorig.

Shiva Thapa, the world championships bronze medallist, is only the second male boxer in the world to win five medals at the Asian Championships. Shiva Thapa had won gold in 2013, silver in 2017 and two bronze in 2015 and 2019.

Amit Panghal (52kg) also went down fighting 2-3 against reigning Olympic and world champion Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan. The Indian put up a great fight but it wasn’t enough, losing 29-28, 28-29, 28-29, 28-29, 30-27.

The 19-member Indian contingent has secured an unprecedented 15 medals and ensured the country’s best-ever show, surpassing the previous best of 13 medals (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) won in the 2019 edition in Bangkok.

During a high-voltage 52kg summit clash between the top two seeds — Panghal and Shakhobidin — both boxers showed great skill and attacked their opponent from the word go.

In the second round, Panghal took time as he was more accurate, hit timely punches with more power and was sharp in defence as well. However, Shakhobidin fought back well in time and managed to tilt the game in his favour.

Vikas Krishan (69kg) and Varinder Singh (60kg) have secured bronze medals in the men’s section after losing their semi-final matches.

In the women’s section, Pooja Rani (75kg) clinched her second successive gold medal while seasoned campaigner Mary Kom (51kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), and Anupama (+81kg) clinched silver medals.

Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Jaismine (57kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (54kg), Monika (48kg), and Saweety (81kg) secured bronze as all 10 members of the women’s team returned with medals.

The International Boxing Association has allocated USD 4,00,000 prize money for these championships.

The gold medallists in the men’s and women’s categories are awarded with USD 10,000 while the silver and bronze medal winners take home USD 5,000 and 2,500 respectively.

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