Indian boxers to have three-week training camp overseas ahead of Tokyo Olympics
Indian men’s boxing high performance director Santiago Nieva said the boxers will reach Tokyo for the Games, five to seven days before the event starts on July 23.
The nine Indian boxers bound for the Olympics will travel abroad for a three-week training period after a break of a few days after a record-breaking medal by the country’s boxers at the Asian Championships which just ended in Dubai .
Talk to PTIIndian men’s boxing high performance director Santiago Nieva said the boxers will reach Tokyo for the Games, five to seven days before the event starts on July 23.
“We will go abroad for training. Discussions are open and the venue will be finalized in the coming days. It will be a three week camp. We will come back to India to polish some things up and then head to Tokyo five to seven days before the Games, ”Nieva said as he set the plan for the days ahead.
Full details of the planned trip will be revealed after venue finalization. The Indian boxing team have traveled extensively in recent months for tournaments and training, including a long trip to Europe.
Home training has been sporadic due to the threat posed by COVID-19.
In fact, in April, national coach CA Kuttappa tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to be quarantined for 10 days.
The Indian boxers won their best ever harvest of 15 medals at the Dubai event, two more than their previous best performance. The medals won this time included two gold, five silver and eight bronze.
The only gold winner among the Olympics was Pooja Rani (75 kg), while MC Mary Kom (51 kg) and Amit Panghal (52 kg) won silver medals.
The only male boxer to win the gold medal was Sanjeet (91 kg), who is not in the Olympic group.
Vikas Krishan (69 kg), Simranjit Kaur (60 kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg) were among the Olympic bronze medalists.
The others to have made the cup for Tokyo are Manish Kaushik (63kg), Ashish Chaudhary (75kg) and Satish Kumar (+ 91kg). Of these, Ashish lost in the quarterfinals in Dubai and Manish and Satish were unable to travel due to illness.
“Overall I’m happy with the performance and I’m not just saying it for the medal collection. Amit was in excellent shape, Vikas just didn’t have a chance to get injured in the semi-finals and Ashish also gave a good performance even though he didn’t win a medal, ”said Nieva.
“Of course there are small issues to be addressed, more specific to individuals and we will do that in the few weeks left before the Games. I can say that we are 80% ready, we will sort out the remaining 20%, ”he added.
Small issues Nieva alluded to included close-range boxing and body punches.
“There is certainly a big improvement and that will continue before we are absolutely ready for the Games,” he said.
On individual performances and Nieva felt that Panghal was incredibly good throughout despite lacking a second successive gold medal.
Little boxer Haryana lost a siege edge final to old foe Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in what was a repeat of the 2019 world championship final, which also ended in Zoirov’s favor.
The Indian won both of the three rounds, but Zoirov had just the right combination of scores from individual judges to go 3-2.
“I think it’s on par with his best performances. He was unstoppable and looked really good. We all thought he won that final, ”Nieva said.
And then there was Sanjeet (91kg), who beat Olympic silver medalist and tournament legend Vassiliy Levit in the final. Kazakhstani Levit looked good for his fourth gold at the event, but was stopped by the Indian debutant at the tournament.
“Sanjeet has tremendous positive energy. He has worked hard to get to where he is and his improvements are very clear. There were some weaknesses in his game, especially at close range, but he improved a lot, ”said Nieva.
India found their own tournament legend in Shiva Thapa (64 kg), who clinched a fifth consecutive medal finishing with a silver medal.
Nieva praised the boxer from Assam, who is also a bronze medalist at the world championships.