Road to Rio: Shiva Thapa, India's best bet for a medal in boxing at Olympics 2016

Name: Shiva Thapa
Age: 22
Discipline: Boxing
Category: 56 kgs (Bantamweight category)
Qualification: Silver medal at the Asian Olympic Qualifying event in Qian'an

Past Olympic performance: First Round at 2012 London Olympics

Past record: Gold at 2014 Asian Boxing Championship, Silver at 2010 Youth Olympic games
-Bronze at World Amateur Championship

Strengths: Shiva relies more on intelligence and skill to hold him up in the ring, rather than aggression and brute strength. This is a hallmark of the earlier lot of successful boxers from Haryana.

Rio Prospects: Ranked third in the world in his weight category, Shiva Thapa is one of India's biggest hopes at Rio Olympics. India will be hoping for a gold from the youngster, but a medal will be the least that's expected.

Shiva Thapa is the first Indian boxer to have qualified for the Rio Olympics 2016. Getty Images

Shiva Thapa is the first Indian boxer to have qualified for the Rio Olympics 2016. Getty Images

Shiva Thapa became the first Indian boxer to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics in April when we reached the final of the Asian Olympic Qualifying event. Rio will be Shiva's second appearance at the Olympics after being the youngest Indian boxer at the 2012 London games.

The 22-year-old who hails from Guwahati in Assam, was born in a family of sportsmen. Padam Thapa, Shiva's father is a karate instructor in the city, while his elder brother, Gobind Thapa is state-level medal winning boxer in the state. The young pugilist used to wake up at 3 am in the morning to balance his training and studies, the boxer told The Wall Street Journal in 2012.

Shiva's talent and hardwork were recognized by the Olympic Gold Quest, a non-profit organization which supports Indian athletes. Viren Rasquinha the chief operating officer of the organization hailed Shiva's attitude. "Shiva is an enormous talent. He must be groomed well because he has the talent, the right attitude and the hunger to succeed. OGQ has very high hopes from Shiva and I am confident that he will become one of India's top boxing stars in the near future," the former India hockey captain said.

Four years ago, Shiva was a relatively unknown name in the boxing circles but since then he has undergone a remarkable transformation and is now one of country's biggest hope in the sport that has been India's core strength at the Olympics in the recent past.

Updated Date: Jul 08, 2016 03:17 AM

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