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Thapa a step away from London

other Updated: Apr 09, 2012 23:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Teenage pugilist Shiva Thapa registered the biggest win of his career, upsetting 2004 Olympics silver-medallist and 2010 Asiad champion Worapoj Petchkoon of Thailand in the quarterfinals of the Asian Olympic qualification event in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Monday.

The 18-year-old Thapa won 16-10 to enter the semifinals of the 56kg category, and is now just a step away from making it to London. There are three quota places in the 56kg division - apart from the finalists, the semifinalist who loses to the eventual gold-medallist will also qualify for the Games.

Thapa took a two-point lea from the first round. By the end of the second round, the Indian pugilist had extended the lead to 12-5. Thapa then held off a late charge by Petchkoon to win.

"He fought well and was technically sound," said national coach GS Sandhu. "He managed to stick to his strategy and also execute it."

The boxer from Assam is now assured of at least a bronze. But to assure himself of an Olympic berth he will have to make sure he gets past Japan's Satoshi Shimizu on Wednesday.