Four-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa became India’s first gold medallist at the President’s Cup boxing tournament after getting a walkover in the finals in Astana, Kazakhstan on Saturday.Also Read - AIBA to Ensure 'Fair Chance, Fair Fight' at World Boxing Championships
Making his international debut in the newly-introduced Olympic category of 63kg, Thapa was to fight Kazakhstan’s Zakir Safiullin in the summit clash but his opponent had to pull out due to injury. Also Read - India's Schedule at Tokyo Paralympics 2020, Day 3, August 27: All You Need to Know
Thapa had lost to Safiullin in the Asian Championship semifinal earlier this year. Also Read - From Aditi Ashok, Lovlina Borgohain to India Women's Hockey Team: 5 Inspiring Performances From Indian Athletes at Tokyo Olympics 2020
Signing off with a silver medal was woman boxer Parveen (60kg) who lost her final bout to local hope Rimma Volosenko.
“The new weight category has been easy to adapt. I have not faced too much difficulty. Obviously there are challenges of facing boxers who are coming from 64kg, given their power but nothing is impossible,” Thapa, a 60kg category boxer before the rejigging of Olympic divisions, told PTI from Astana.
Thapa couldn’t make the cut for the September world championships after losing in the trials to Commonwealth Games silver-winner Manish Kaushik.
Thapa had defeated Kyrgyzstan’s Argon Kadiribekuulu 4-1 in the last-four stage bout.
“Shiva had a great tournament, beating some really fancied opponents. It was an impressive performance,” said India’s High-Performance Director Santiago Nieva.
Earlier, Sweety Boora (81kg) and Duryodhan Singh Negi (69kg) had ended their campaign with bronze medals following semifinal defeats.