A test of preparations: Indian boxers eye strong show at Asian Championships

Dubai, May 23 (PTI): A crucial test of preparations for Olympic-bound boxers, the Asian Championships get underway here on Monday with India aiming to better their record-shattering medal haul in the event’s previous edition.
A total of 19 Indian boxers — nine men and 10 women — will stake their claim for the top honours, which will also come with an unprecedented bonus of prize money this time.
The boxers reached here on Saturday after a tumultuous few hours, which included a delayed landing and some confusion over approval paperwork. In addition, the team had to withdraw South Asian Games gold-medallist Vinod Tanwar’s (49kg) name after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The build-up and the subsequent journey seemed symbolic of the Indian boxers’ Olympic preparations this year with COVID-19 disrupting training on several occasions. “This will give us a good sign as to where we stand before the Olympics and where we need to adjust. It would be good for us that way,” Indian men’s boxing’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva told PTI.
India had delivered its best ever Asian Championship performance in the 2019 edition in Thailand, claiming 13 medals, including two gold, four silver and seven bronze. This time too, expectations are high.
“We always come to win. We know it will be a very tough competition with many nations featuring Olympic qualified boxers and many medal winners from the world championships. But we are confident that our team will bring home a good results,” Nieva added with confidence.

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