QIAN�AN (CHINA), March 31: World Championships bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa (56kg) today became the first Indian boxer to make the cut for this year�s Olympics by entering the Asian Qualifying Tournament�s final but the celebrated MC Mary Kom (51kg) failed to book her Rio Games ticket after losing in the last-four stage here.
Shiva, given the top seeding in his weight category, lived upto the billing as he sailed past 2013 World Championship bronze-medallist Kairat Yeraliyev of Kazakhstan in the semifinal. He will face second seed Chatchai Butdee of Thailand in the final tomorrow.
With today�s victory, the 22-year-old Indian is set for his second Olympic appearance, four years after he became the youngest boxer to qualify for the multi-sporting extravaganza.
�I want to thank god for having managed to achieve this. I was very much concerned about this bout, it was the most important bout for me. So I am totally exhausted and relieved at the same time,� Shiva told PTI.
However, it was heartbreak for another top seed, Mary Kom, who went down to old foe Ren Cancan of China in the semifinals, which will only translate into a bronze medal for her. In the women�s category, only the gold and silver medal winners from this tournament will qualify for Rio Olympics. �PTI
Sports Reporter adds: The Assam Amateur Boxing Association congratulated Shiva Thapa for his excellent performance in the China championship and for qualifying for the Rio Olympics.
The State boxing body secretary Hemanta Kumar Kalita said, Shiva, the world number 2, has gained enough experience in the international circuit and a medal can be expected in Rio from the Assam boxer.