Assam’s Shiva Thapa is the first and only Indian boxer with three consecutive Asian Championships medals – a gold (2013), silver (2017) and a bronze (2015), Shiva would be competing in his second Asian Games, scheduled from August 18 in Jakarta and Palembang.
Success propels but setbacks teach life lessons like none can, feels seasoned Indian boxer Shiva Thapa, who cannot wait to turn his “growth” story of a rollercoaster year into a maiden Asian Games medal this month.
The last time around, he lost in the quarterfinals and speaking to PTI, the Assam boxer offered a rather philosophical take on success and setbacks, careful to specify that by setbacks, he did not mean failures.
“I think setbacks are a better teacher. They make you stronger and when you bounce back, it’s the most amazing feeling,” says the 25-year-old, one of only four Indian boxers to have a world championship medal in his cabinet.
“Success definitely propels you and makes you confident, but setbacks, they are like a tightly pulled bowstring; the farther it is pulled, the faster you go ahead. Success also teaches you things but a lot of times, you can get carried away too. But setbacks pump you up like nothing else,” he adds.
“The Asian Games mean a lot to me. By a lot, I mean, I can’t even tell you how much. It is a massive challenge first and foremost but a challenge that I am ready for. This is the biggest competition I would be in since shifting to 60kg in 2016, and the one that I have been waiting for,” he says.
The perspective perhaps comes from enduring a rocky ride in the last one year. It all started with his historic silver at the Asian Championships in May 2017, the first international medal since the shift from 56kg to 60kg in the winter of 2016, reports TOI.
As a result, he went in as a top contender at the world championships in Hamburg but could not even set foot inside the ring due to a bout of food poisoning a night before his opening fight.
After that, there was the silver at the national championships, a bronze at the India Open, during which his body was not quite at 100 per cent. Shiva could not make the cut for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.