Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom, along with two other Olympic-bound boxers, will train at the Pune Army Sports Institute leading to the Tokyo Games after the Delhi National Women’s Camp had to be disbanded due to COVID-19. cases among pugilists and support staff.
Mary Com (51 kg) will join another boxer Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg), who is already at the facility. Simrandjit Kaur (60 kg), also leaving for Tokyo, will also train there, but after completing the COVID-19 isolation after recovery.
Boxers will be placed in three separate groups with two sparring partners to ensure that the risk of infection is minimal. However, Puja Rani (75 kg), who also qualifies for the games, will continue to train at the Bellary Inspire Sports Institute, which is her current base.
Mary Com will not have immediate company with her coach and former boxer Chhote Lal Yadav, who remains in isolation after giving a positive test for the dreaded infection last month. Yadav is expected to join the camp after returning a negative test in the next few days.
“I’m looking forward to today. Chhote will be here soon, so he’ll be fine. I hope to get vaccinated during my stay there,” Mary Com told PTI. “The training was a hair’s breadth after stopping the camp in Delhi, but I hope it will return to the track now. I can even train with the male boxers who are there at ASI, I train regularly to be in good shape.” she said.
The next big task for them is the Asian Championship, which had to be moved from Delhi to Dubai due to the wave of COVID-19 here. The tournament is scheduled to start on April 21.
“It’s a huge competition that we desperately need before the Olympics. Training and sparring are one thing, but the actual competition is something else. We have to test ourselves in the Asian Championships,” said Mary Com.
Indian boxing director Rafaele Bergamasco and head coach Mohamed Ali Kamar were among 21 campers who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Indira Gandhi indoor stadium on April 14.
Bergamasco and Kamar have since recovered, but will not join the camp immediately.
While Bergamasco is currently in Italy to participate in a personal engagement, Ali Kamar is completing his isolation after recovering at home in Kolkata at the moment.
“As the Asian Championships and Olympics approach, our focus will be to make the most of the time we have and maximize training before these two events,” said Hemanta Kalita, Secretary General, Boxing Federation of India. “Taking into account the safety of players, coaches and support staff, we have created a plan for training players in individual clusters to minimize risk.
“These are difficult times, but no matter how careful we are, we also have work to do and ensure that our boxers can return to camp and start training and working to get the best possible results,” he said. Kalita added.
The ASI camp was approved by the Sports Authority of India by the end of July. The Tokyo Games are scheduled to begin on July 23.
In addition to the Olympic border, youth world champion Arundati Chodari (69 kg) was selected for the training, along with Manju Rani (48 kg), Sonia Latter (57 kg), Lalbuatsayhi (64 kg), Shashi Chopra (64 kg) and Jasmine. kg) camp.