SHIVA Thapa (60kg) secured himself an unprecedented fourth successive medal, while veteran L Sarita Devi (60kg) made the semifinals for the first time in nearly a decade to continue India’s stupendous run at the Asian Boxing Championships here on Tuesday. In all, eight Indian boxers -- four women and four men -- advanced to the medal rounds on day two of quarterfinals. The 25-year-old Thapa defeated Thailand’s Rujakran Juntrong in a one-sided lightweight (60kg) contest.
He prevailed 5-0 and has a tough semifinal lined up against Kazakhstan’s Zakir Safiullin, a silver-medallist from the 2015 edition. Thapa had won a gold in 2013, a bronze in 2015 and a silver in the 2017 edition of the marquee continental event. He is the first Indian to achieve the incredible feat. In the women’s draw, former world champion Sarita, who last reached the Asian semis back in 2010 and ended with a gold, defeated Kazakhstan’s Rimma Volossenko in a split decision to advance.
Former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) too booked her maiden semifinal berth at the tournament, beating Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaibay in the quarters. Last edition’s silver-medallist Manisha (54kg) also secured herself at least a bronze by defeating Filipino Petecio Zzaa Nice, while former national champion Simranjit Kaur (64kg) edged past a gritty Ha Thi Linh of Vietnam to make the last four.