Astana (Kazakhstan), April 7 (IANS) Indian boxers continued their good run at the Asian Olympic Qualifying event here Saturday with 2010 Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Shiva Thapa (56kg) advancing to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Thapa, who beat Afghan boxer Mohmmad Khaiber Nooristani, became the fourth Indian pugilist to have secured a spot in the quarters of the qualification tournament.
The Indian boxer took a crucial three point advantage in the very first round. The nimble footed Thapa, with his all round ring movement and crisp attacks, kept increasing the margin, never allowing the Afghan boxer to get back in the bout.
By the close of the second round Thapa had made it a five-point game. He went on to claim victory and a spot in the round of eight with a final score of 15-7.
The 18-year-old will square off against veteran boxer and 2010 Asian Games winner Worapoj Petchkoon of Thailand Monday. Thapa will have to be at his best to put one past the experienced Thai boxer.
With three slots available in the 56kg weight division, Thapa will not just have to make it to the semi-finals, but might also have to battle it out in a play-off bout to book his ticket to the London games.
Beijing Olympic bronze medal winner Vijender Singh (75kg) will be seen in action in the quarterfinals of the middle weight division Sunday. The 26-year-old, who is now just one win away from securing an Olympic berth, will lock horns with 2011 Asian championship silver medallist Chuluuntumur Tumurkhyag of Mongolia.
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