Astana (Kazakhstan), April 11 (IANS) Teenage boxer Shiva Thapa qualified for the 2012 Olympics by entering the final of the 56 kg category at the Asian Olympic qualifying event here Wednesday, becoming the youngest Indian to do so. Vijender Singh, who has also qualified for the London event, lost his semifinal bout in the 76 kg.
Shiva defeated Japan's Satoshi Simizu 31:17 in the semifinals here. At 18, he has now become the youngest Indian boxer to secure an Olympic berth, surpassing the 19-year-old L. Devendro Singh, who made the cut for the July-August Games last year. Debendra Singh competed as a 19-year-old in the 1996 edition at Atlanta.
Shiva, a silver medallist at the 2010 Youth Olympics, was down 6-7 in the opening round. He changed gears in the second, taking a comfortable 15-6 lead. The Indian did not look back from there on and completed a comprehensive win.
Meanwhile, 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze-medallist Vijender Singh (75kg), suffered a 7:10 loss at the hands of Nursaat Pazziyev.
Vijender was on the backfoot from the start, trailing 2-3 by the end of the opening round.
The 19-year-old from Turkmenistan played the waiting game against his experienced opponent, helping him gain a 6-4 lead by the second round.
Vijender tried hard but Pazziyev held off his challenge to make the final. The Indian will get a bronze for his effort.
The Olympic hopes of Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg) were dashed as he lost his semifinal bout to Ali Mazaheri of Iran.
Devendro Singh (49kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Vikas Krishan (69kg) have also qualified for the Olympics.
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