The upcoming London Olympics is one event boxer fans in India will be looking forward to. Sumit Sangwan was the seventh Indian boxer who qualified for the London Olympics after he beat the 2009 Asian Championship bronze medallist Ihab Almatdault from Jordan 24-12 during the last-four stage of the Asian Qualifiers in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Before him it was the turn of Shiva Thapa (56kg) who became the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for London 2012 when he reached the final by beating Japan’s Satoshi Simizu 31-17. There are other five male boxers who will travel to the Olympics – Vijender Singh (75 kg), L Devendro Singh (49kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Vikas Krishan (69kg). This would give India the biggest ever presence at the Olympic Games.
The 19-year-old teenager L Devendro Singh, playing only his second senior international event (he won a gold in the maiden), had booked his place in the London games in the last year’s World Championships, when he tied with Debendra Singh (1996 Atlanta) as the youngest Indian boxer to make the Olympics. But the 1993-born Shiva has broken this record.
The Assam teenager Shiva was down 6-7 in the opening round but he turned the tables in the second round, taking a massive 15-6 lead. The final three minutes followed a similar turn of events as Shiva clinched it with ease.
But quite surprisingly, Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist Vijender Singh (75kg), who is already assured of a place in London, lost to Asian and Youth Olympics bronze-medallist Nursaat Pazziyev 10-7.
Vijender was trailing 2-3 in the opening round when Pazziyev scored better at the accuracy graph with his combination of punches.
The 19-year-old was happy because he could guard and counter-attack, while he waited for his 26-year-old Indian rival to make the first move. But he managed to widen the lead to 6-4 at the end of the second round with this master technique.
Vijender seemed determined in the last three minutes of the game but the sheer accuracy of Pazziyev was very hard to deal with for the former world number one. He settled for a bronze and an Olympic seat at the event.
There was news of another disappointing result for India. Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg) failed to qualify for the Olympics after he lost 13-6 in the semi-finals to Iran’s Ali Mazaheri.
Manpreet was required to win a gold medal in order to make it to the London Olympics.
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