INTERNATIONAL BOXING: A ticket to Games glory – Boxer Shiva Thapa set for Singapore ‘graduation’ bout – good for gold, go Shiva go, sting like a bee ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY UMANAND JAISWAL
Guwahati, Aug. 12: The “future” of Indian boxing today set off for his “graduation” bout in Singapore.
Tracking the development with more than keen interest, in particular, will be Assam’s sports fraternity, as he hails from Guwahati and answers to the call of Shiva Thapa. A silver-medallist in the 54-kg weight category at the Baku World Youth Games in May, Shiva, despite nursing a wrist injury, managed to secure a ticket to the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore from August 14 to 26.
Expectedly, his thoughts prior to his departure for Singapore this morning were of winning the gold so that he could graduate to the senior national camp in Patiala and try to secure a berth in the Indian squad for the Commonwealth Games. Thapa’s mission number one is to subsequently represent the country in the 2012 London Olympics and bag a medal there.
There is another goal the 17-year-old harbours — making a movie on himself once he is done with boxing. In the film, Thapa aspires to capture his journey from Guwahati’s SAI to Army Sports Institute (ASI), Pune, which picked him in 2005 and transformed him into a world-class junior boxer with a “podium” finish at the London Games.
The young pugilist has left his followers gaping as well as admiring his candour, confidence and ambition. For, such attributes are a rarity in the sporting fields of the Northeast. Those who know him assert he is neither a loudmouth nor arrogant.
It is youthful optimism and the ambition to become the best, the assumption based on the sheer weight of his achievements (see chart) till date.
A monthlong preparatory camp in Pune saw him box with the likes of Vijender Kumar and Akhil Kumar, who were preparing for the Commonwealth Games. Shiva, along with an equally promising Vikas Yadav, is making the trip from India to box against the world’s best. He will take the ring on August 21. Overall, the Singapore Games will see the assembly of 3,700 athletes between the ages of 14 to 18 in 26 disciplines from 205 National Olympic Committees.
Senior SAI official Subhas Basumatary, Assam Boxing Association secretary Hemanta Kalita, senior sports journalist Pulin Saha, who have seen the five-feet-seven skinny Shiva bloom into a boxer of immense potential, are convinced he has the ability to realise his goals. “He is consistent, determined, aggressive, swift and technically very sound. He is among those touted as the future of Indian boxing,” says Basumatary. “His plus points are his hooks and aggression. He is growing as a boxer,” adds Kalita.
But they were quick to add that Singapore will have a direct bearing on his future.
He takes to the ring on August 21.