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Shiva eyes Olympic berth next

Shiva Thapa on Saturday became only the third Indian boxer ever to assure himself of a World Championships medal besides inching closer to an Olympic berth as he advanced to the semifinals with a dominating triumph here.

Shiva (56kg) thrashed Qatar’s Hakan <g data-gr-id="17">Erseker</g> 3-0 and is now just one win away from assuring himself of an Olympic quota place. Should he lose in the semifinals tomorrow, then the 21-year-old will have to win a box-off to fetch a ticket to next year’s extravaganza in Rio de Janeiro.

By assuring <g data-gr-id="16">himself of</g> at least a bronze, Shiva joined Vijender Singh (2009) and Vikas Krishan (2011) as the third Indian to be a medallist at the showpiece event.

However, it was curtains for Vikas Krishan (75kg), who suffered an unexpected 0-3 loss to Egypt’s Hosam Abdin despite a seemingly dominant performance. Shiva was the first to take the ring and he came up with a clinical show to beat the local favourite via a unanimous decision.

Using his left hooks and jabs to telling effect, the Asian bronze-medallist threw caution to the wind after successfully intimidating his rival in the opening round.  
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