New Delhi, Apr 30 (PTI):
Chefs to take care of their taste buds and travelling days in advance to ensure better acclimatisation — the Indian boxers’ stupendous Asian Championship medal haul has prompted the national federation to think of some fresh ways to aid their Olympic preparations.
The Indian boxers logged in their best performance at the tournament, fetching 13 medals including two gold, four silver and seven bronze. The men picked up seven medals, while the women managed six.
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is expectedly buoyed by the show and its President Ajay Singh said the target now is to repeat some of it at the Tokyo Games next year. The qualifying process for that will get underway at the world championships in September.
“We will do our best at BFI to make sure you guys are really well prepared for the Olympics. We will leave no stone unturned. We will provide everything starting from guidance, coaches, nutrition to make sure you are at your best in Tokyo,” Singh said at an event to felicitate the medal winners.
Food has been an issue for Indian athletes travelling abroad besides the struggle to acclimatise with the change in temperatures.
“Acclimatisation is always an issue. So all the boxers who will go for the Olympics, will travel 10 days ahead of schedule,” he said.
“If there is a problem with the food you guys get, like in this Asian Championship, we are happy to send chefs with you. If that is the problem we will try and address that as well,” Singh said.
Talking about the performance at the Asian Championship Singh said it augurs well for the sport.
“It’s India’s best performance ever in the Asian Championship. Thirteen medals makes India the country with the most medals. Overall, we came third and in terms of points AIBA gives, we were second.
“Asia is extremely important in the world of boxing, the leading boxers in the world are from Asian countries. To do so well in this tournament is great credit to all our boxers and coaches,” Singh said.
Indian boxers produced some commendable performances in the tournament.
Asian Games champion Amit Panghal (52kg) defeated Olympic gold and bronze medallists en route another top finish. Pooja Rani (81kg), who also won gold, defeated current World Champion Wang Lina in the final. While Nikhat Zareen (51kg) and Kavinder Bisht (56kg) also got the better of world champions.
“We had a string of victories that were just stunning. Sarita (won the 60kg bronze at 37) showed that age means nothing at all. Several of our boxers defeated world champions.
“I know for a fact that two of our silver medals — Deepak and Kavinder’s — ought to have been gold. We need to work towards making sure that bouts like that result in our favour.”
New Delhi, Apr 30 (PTI):