Strandja Memorial Boxing: Shiva Thapa, Sonia Lather enter semifinals


Former World Championship silver medalist Sonia Lather and Asian Championship bronze medalist Shiva Thapa and Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin assured themselves a medal at the ongoing 71st Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament by booking semifinal berth of the tournament on Thursday. However, defending champion Nikhat Zareen’s campaign came to an end after she lost her bout in the quarters at the tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

shiva-thapa-indian-boxerMohammed Hussamuddin who fight in the 57 kg weight category overpowered 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist Kurt Walker who hails from Ireland 5-0 to assure himself a medal in Soafia Bulgaria. Hussamuddin in the 2017 edition of the tournament had won silver.

Hussamuddin’s heroics was followed by 2016 World Championship silver medalist Sonia Lather who trumped Ireland’s Michaela Walsh, 2018 Commonwealth games silver medalist, 3-2 in a hard fought contest to advance in the last four in 57 Kg weight category.sonia-lather-in-semis-of-strandja

Shiva Thapa, a bronze-winner from the 2015 World championship, outpunched of Ireland’s George Bates in his quarter-final clash to advance into the last four of the competition and assure himself a medal. This is the first time that Thapa, who has four Asian championship medals to his name including a gold in the 2013 edition, has assured himself a medal at the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in his last three appearance at the season-opening European event.

However, defending champions Nikhat Zareen was not lucky enough to advance into the last four of the tournament as she bowed out of the tournament after losing her bout in the 51kg weight category. Nikhat’s campaign came to an end after she was knocked out 2-3 by American Christina Cruz.

The former junior world champion Zareen had created history as she along with Meena Kumari Devi had become the first set of Indian women boxers to be crowned champion by winning a gold medal at the preceding edition of the event. The 71st edition of the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament features competitors from over 30 countries.