Guwahati, May 23:
It was a spectacular homecoming for World championship bronze medallist Shiva Thapa, while Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal also lived upto his billing reaching the semifinals in 52kg category at the second India Open boxing tournament here Wednesday.
Seven other Indians also progressed to the semifinals at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium.
Three years after he was crowned national champion at the same venue, a matured Thapa returned stronger as he clinically executed his plans to outwork his taller Mauritius opponent Hellene Damien 5-0 and set up a semifinal clash against D Krystian Sczepanski of Poland in the 60kg category.
Ankit and Manish Kaushik also had 5-0 wins over their respective opponents making it a three-Indian lineup in the 60kg category.
In the 52kg category, Indians ruled the roost with Panghal, national champion P L Prasad, former world youth champion Sachin Siwach and reigning Commonwealth Games champion Gaurav Solanki making it an all-Indian lineup.
Panghal, who claimed the 49kg gold after defeating reigning Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in the Asiad final in Jakarta last year, opted to play a waiting game against Thailand Chakapong Chanpirom in the first round.
Having moved up to Olympic category 52kg after winning gold at the Strandja meet in Bulgaria earlier this year, Panghal then stepped up his pace to win 5-0.
Panghal will take on reigning national champion Prasad in the semifinal, while the other half will see Siwach face-off against Bidhuri.
Fresh from a bronze at the GeeBee Boxing tournament Finland, Siwach did his homework well to exact revenge on world championship bronze medalist Rogen Ladon of Philippines.
The two-time former Olympian had defeated Siwach by a split-decision in the President”s Cup quarterfinals in Astana last year.
Siwach rectified his mistake and waited to capitalise on the Filipino”s mistakes to go for the kill as he won 4-1 via split decision.
“Last time I went for an allout attack that did not pay off. I watched videos of the bout and this time I could rectify my mistakes,” Siwach said as he also got the support of his father and uncle who had come all the way from Haryana to support him.
He will next face Solanki, who had it easy against Louis Fleurot of Mauritius to seal a 5-0 win.
Fresh from bagging a silver medal at the Asian Championships in Bangkok, Ashish Kumar (75kg) prevailed over fancied Argentine Francisco Veron 4-1 by split decision to make the semifinals.
Late evening Olympian Sumit Sangwan also assured India a medal advancing into the semifinal when he defeated Aleksander Celejewski by an unanimous decision.