Their Olympic preparations again on monitor after the disruption attributable to COVID-19, Indian boxers might be travelling extensively to compete in numerous European tournaments within the subsequent couple of months beginning with the distinguished Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria. In a dialog with PTI, Indian boxing’s Excessive-Efficiency Director Santiago Nieva revealed that aside from a world schedule, he would additionally wish to see the nationwide championships happen a while earlier than the Olympic Video games. “This 12 months, we’re beginning with the Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria, then hopefully a match in Hungary and another after that. Aside from this, we might be staying put at Bengaluru for the nationwide camp and doubtless invite some overseas groups if they comply with come,” Nieva mentioned giving a lowdown of the plans for the following six months.
Strandja Memorial is likely one of the oldest boxing competitions within the European circuit and is broadly thought-about a season-opener. In its 72nd version this 12 months, it’s scheduled to be held from February 21 to 28 in Sofia.
9 Indian boxers — Amit Panghal (52kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Satish Kumar (+91kg), M C Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), and Pooja Rani (75kg) — have certified for the Olympics.
Some extra could seize Tokyo tickets on the planet qualifiers set to be held a month or two earlier than the Video games, postponed by a 12 months to the present one owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Video games are scheduled in July-August.
Talking of the pandemic, Nieva mentioned the disruption was expectedly irritating however the Indians greater than made up for the misplaced time throughout their two-month-long European sojourn in November-December throughout which they participated in two competitions as effectively.
“The SOP for COVID within the Patiala nationwide camp barred sparring, so it was good to get some sparring after an extended break. It was a lot wanted and it has helped us keep aggressive and we’re good now, again on monitor.”
After being halted utterly due to the pandemic in March final 12 months, the nationwide camp had resumed in August in a managed surroundings, open just for the Olympic-bound and Olympic prospects. Nevertheless, the boxers weren’t allowed to entry the ring or spar for concern of an infection, severely affecting their total coaching routine.
“The boxers wanted competitors for the sake of motivation they usually bought two throughout this Europe journey, it was an enormous enhance as a result of the disruption had an impression. Not simply us, each nation has felt a setback and everybody has handled it in another way,” Nieva elaborated.
The Swede mentioned he would not thoughts a nationwide championship earlier than the Olympics as it will give essential competitors to boxers who will not be within the camp and are ravenous for coaching and competitors. The conference in an Olympic 12 months is to have the nationals after the quadrennial showpiece.
“Whether it is protected, then I wish to see the nationwide championships quickly. Maybe in a bio-bubble, it will be nice to maintain boxers motivated as a result of with out competitors, it’s troublesome to simply go on coaching.”
“I do know it will not be straightforward to have a bio-bubble given the numbers and scale of it, however we will at the very least give it a thought and test whether it is attainable. It will not be a foul concept,” he mentioned.
“The likes of Brazil and China have had their Nationals, we will strive too.”
The nationwide championships couldn’t happen final 12 months due to the pandemic. The boxers are presently in Bellary’s Encourage Institute of Sports activities, a high-performance facility based by JSW Sports activities and which has taking pictures ace Abhinav Bindra and former cricket captain Sourav Ganguly on its advisory board.
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