Thapa finds it tough against Fierro, makes early exit

Shiva ThapaLondon: It was a disappointing start for the Indian boxing contingent at the 2012 Olympics with 2010 Youth Olympics silver medallist Shiva Thapa (56kg) losing out in the first round of the bantam weight division at the Excel arena on Saturday.

Up against Olympian and 2009 World Championship bronze medallist Oscar Valdez Fierro of Mexico, the 18-year-old found it difficult to find his footing. The experienced Mexican took advantage and landed some crucial blows on the Indian boxer, he quickly raced to a 4:2 lead in the first round.

In the second round Thapa found his rhythm and made a strong comeback, owing to some good combinations he won the round 4:3 and made it a one point game. But Valdez came out all guns blazing in the final three minutes of play; making good use of his experience he was easily able to penetrate the Indians defence. Thapa, who was fast running out of steam, had no answer to the Mexicans relentless attacking. His Olympic campaign finally came to an early end with a 9:14 defeat.

Thapa, the youngest Indian boxer to have qualified for the Olympics, performed extremely well at the Asian Olympic Qualifying tournament in Astana, Kazakhstan. He did not just qualify for the Olympics but bagged the gold medal at the Asian qualifiers and was being touted as one of the medal hopes for India.

The evening session of play will witness Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh take centre stage as he locks horns with 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist Danabek Suzhanov of Kazakhstan in the preliminary round of the middle weight division.