Shiva Thapa, Hussamuddin clinch gold as Services defend their crown at Boxing nationals
Shiva Thapa and Mohammad Hussamuddin became champions in the 63.5 Kg and 57 Kg categories respectively at National Boxing Championships.
Heavy favourites Shiva Thapa and Mohammad Hussamuddin powered their way to remarkable victories and bagged gold medals while defending champions Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) topped the rankings with 10 medals at the 6th Elite Men's National Boxing Championships in Hisar on Friday.
The record six-time Asian medalist Shiva Thapa of Assam had a pretty comfortable day at the office as he defeated the 2021 World Youth Championships bronze medalist Ankit Narwal of Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) to win by unanimous decision in the 63.5kg final.
Contrastingly, the SSCB pugilist Mohammad Hussamuddin had to toil hard to prevail against the 2016 World Youth champion Sachin of RSPB in the 57kg final. Having suffered defeat in last year's final, the two-time Commonwealth Games bronze medalist showcased brilliant tenacity to emerge victorious this time round with a 4-1 scoreline.
The 2022 Asian Championships bronze medalist Narender (+92) received a walkover in his finals bout against the 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medalist Sagar who could not participate in the matchup due to a minor injury.
Alongside Hussamuddin and Narender, the pugilists of SSCB stole the show on the final day of the tournament as the team successfully defended their crown at the Men's National Boxing Championships with a total of six gold, one silver and three bronze medals. Bishwamitra Chongtham (51kg), Sachin (54kg), Akash (67kg), and Sumit (75kg) were the team's other gold medalists.
RSPB, with two gold, three silver and two bronze, and Punjab with one gold, two silver and six bronze claimed second and third positions respectively.
Native boxers Abhimanyu Loura (80kg) and Naveen Kumar (92kg) capped off their brilliant campaigns with hard-fought wins that earned them gold in their respective categories.
Abhimanyu who had recorded a stunning victory against Tokyo Olympian Ashish Kumar in the quarter-finals replicated that grit and confidence in his finals bout against Sahil of Chandigarh. The 2019 Asian Youth Championships bronze medalist faced tough competition from his opponent but utilized his technical ability and dynamic attacking prowess to seal a 4-1 win.
Naveen, on the other hand, faced the 2021 Asian champion Sanjeet of SSCB in what was a repeat of last year's final in the competition where the latter had prevailed. However, Naveen made sure that was not the case this year as he outpunched his opponent to secure a memorable 4-1 victory in a gripping encounter.
The 2022 Asian Championships bronze medalist Govind Sahani (48kg) and the 2021 Asian bronze medalist Varinder Singh (60kg) defended their title and attained gold for RSPB. While Govind defeated Keisham Singh of Manipur with a 5-0 win, Varinder won against Vijay Kumar of Punjab with the same scoreline.
Punjab's Kartik (86kg) and Karnataka's Nishant Dev (71kg) also obtained gold medals in their respective categories at the prestigious tournament which witnessed the participation of 386 boxers fighting in 13 weight categories.
Apart from the medals, Abhimanyu Loura was also presented with the Best Promising pugilist award. Kartik of Punjab secured the Best Boxer award while Zoram Muana of Mizoram was given the Best Challenger award.