Monday, September 14, 2015

Advanced training in Kazakhstan a boon for Indian boxers

After battling the odds stacked against them and settling for a fourth-place finish in the recently-concluded Asian Boxing Championships with a medal haul of one silver and three bronze only behind Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Thailand among 28 participating countries in a huge competitive field, it is time for the Indian boxers to look forward with optimism notwithstanding the headless federation they have to counter with.

The International Boxing Federation’s (IBF) ban on Boxing India and the creation of an ad-hoc committee to run the affairs in the country have affected our boxers to no end. Given this scenario, it is heartening to know that three of our top pugilists will be off to Kazakhstan for a two-week training stint starting later this week. Middleweight boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav – the lone Indian to reach the final of the recently-concluded Asian Boxing Championships along with light flyweight boxer Laishram Devendro Singh and bantamweight boxer Shiva Thapa will be looking to make the most of their two week trip to Kazakhstan. “Obviously, sparring with top-quality boxers will stand these boxers in good stead for the upcoming AIBA World Championships to be held in Doha next month. Training in Patiala has worked well for these guys and but training abroad always has its advantages,” said a boxing coach.

It is important for the Indian boxers to maintain the ‘highs’ attained in Bangkok and take it forward. “The morale of the boys is high given that six of them qualified for the upcoming AIBA World Championships despite all administration mess. I’m sure the boys will let their punches do the talking in the ring,” the boxing coach added.

Vikas Krishan Yadav, Laishram Devendro Singh and Shiva Thapa are availing this much-needed foreign exposure under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme – which was announced by the Sports Ministry. They are not the only boxers under the TOP scheme. Mandeep Jangra, who was recently bestowed with the Arjuna Award along with three women boxers – MC Mary Kom, Sarita Devi and Pinky Jangra are part of this scheme. In fact, two more boxers – Sumit Sangwan and Sarjubala Devi are picked for this scheme but the duo will be prepared for the 2020 Olympics.

For the likes of super heavyweight boxer Satish Kumar, Manoj Kumar (64 kg) and Madan Lal (52), they will be training in NIS Patiala for the the upcoming AIBA World Championships.

Guys like Mandeep Jangra, Gautam Bhiduri, Manish Kaushik, Kuldeep Singh and Manpreet Singh, who failed to qualify for the the upcoming AIBA World Championships, will train in Patiala and hope to make the Olympic cut through two qualifying tourneys next year.

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