BOXING: Shiva Thapa – Emerging star of boxing circuit

BOXING: Shiva Thapa – Emerging star of boxing circuit – making all India and Indian Gorkhas most proud ?!!

Shiva Thapa - packing a powerful Gorkha punch, slated for Gold at the Commonwealth Games later this year ?!! (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

From DNA
By Gutam Sheth

Mumbai, Monday, Aug 30, 2010, 2:25 IST (DNA): Shiva Thapa looks like any other 17-year-old. But it’s his well-chiselled biceps, which suggest that this youngster can throw a few mean punches as a boxer, a sport he believes he was born to play. “I always wanted to be a boxer, nothing else,” said Shiva.

The Assamese boy, who won a silver in bantam weight at the recently concluded Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, was second time unlucky losing to the same opponent he lost to in the Youth World Championship in Azerbaijan.

But Shiva is unfazed and said that he lost to a better opponent, Cuban world champion Ramirez Robeisy Aloy.

“I should have won the gold, but it’s a sport and someone wins and someone loses,” Shiva told DNA from New Delhi.

Shiva was always fascinated by Mike Tyson. “I loved football and I did play well too, but I realised it is a team game and you need to have a good all-round team to succeed whereas to achieve good results in boxing, one had to rely on their own capabilities,” explained Shiva on why he chose boxing.

Shiva’s inspiration and support came in the form of his elder brother Gobind and father Padam. Gobind was a state-level medal winning boxer while Padam used to be a karate coach in Guwahati.

“My brother’s and father’s fascination has made me what I am,” said Shiva.

It was Padam, Shiva’s first coach, who tapped his son’s flair for exchanging punches and made sure that his youngest one got all that he needed.

Shiva dedicated his achievements to the groundwork his father had done all these years. “He made sure I got up by 3:30am so that I get ample time for training and studies,” remembered Shiva.

He first started practicing in the drawing room of his house at the age of seven with his father and now at 17, is training at Army Sports Institute at Pune.

But is hasn’t been an easy way up to the ring for Shiva. He is the youngest among six siblings, which includes four sisters. “It wasn’t easy for my father to support my passion. My travelling, training, stay and the biggest cost — my diet — didn’t make matters any easy at home,” said Shiva.

But Padam made sure his youngest son never had to bear the brunt. The monthly costs of approximately Rs30,000 was difficult, but Shiva’s talent finally got him support from the Olympic Gold Quest.

And now Shiva is excited after his experience at the Youth Games. “YOG gave a platform to the next world champions of all sports,” he said. His immediate aim is to qualify for the 2012 Games in London and if he doesn’t, Shiva is clear he wants to win a medal in the 2016 Games.

Youth Olympic medallists want more exposure trips – reasonable enough to ask for the greater glory of India ?!!

Shiva Thapa displays his Silver at the Singapore Youth Olymics 2010 - handsome enough to make hearts flutter ?!! (Himal News)

From Sify News

August, 28, 2010, 18:20:00 (IANS): Fresh from the success at the Youth Olympics in Singapore, India’s medal winners asked the government and the sports federations to organise regular foreign trips and hire better coaches for improving their performance at the highest level.

India won nine medals at the first edition of the Youth Olympics and were 58th in the medal’s tally. India won medals in athletics, badminton, judo, tennis and wrestling.

The medal winners complained that they play very few international tournaments in a calender year, in comparison to their foreign counterparts.

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi said he has directed the federation to look after the needs of their athletes.

‘We will make sure these young athletes get proper training. The IOA will be writing to chief ministers of the respective states to provide the winners with whatever they ask for,’ said Kalmadi.

Shiva Thapa, 17-year-old boxer who won a silver, has played in five international tournaments since picking up the gloves five years back.

‘We hardly get to play outside. If we play 100 bouts in a year, a boxer in Cuba plays 200 bouts. The more exposure we get the better it is for us. I hope it will start happening after our good performance at the Youth Olympics,’ Thapa told IANS.

The lanky boxer from Guwahati is based in Army Sports Institute, Pune. Thapa is now eying a gold medal in the Commonwealth Youth Games and the Asian Youth Games in 2011.

Discus thrower Arjun won a silver and got the first medal for India in athletics. Arjun said he gets to play only the state championships and a one-off tournament annually, leave aside competing outside India.

‘Whatever I achieved is because of my coach. The federation has not done much for me. The athletes around the world participate in events every week. We need to do the same so that we perform well at the senior level.’

Arjun took up discuss throw in 2006 under the guidance of coach Suresh Yadav. He stays and practices in Delhi.

Not very far from the national capital, wrestler Pooja Dhanda has been training at her hometown of Hissar. She feels the younger coaches with good technical skills are the need of the hour.

‘We need younger and skilled coaches who point our mistakes. We need better technology, so that we can improve our performances and our mistakes are rectified instantaneously. The SAI centre here in Hissar is not up to the mark,’ said Dhanda.

Dhanda won a silver in Singapore and has been wrestling since 2003.

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