The nine Indian boxers will travel abroad for a three-week training session after taking a few days off after a record shake of medals by the country’s Pagalists at the just-concluded Asian Championships in Dubai.
In an interview with PTI, Indian boxing director for high performance Santiago Nieva said the boxers would arrive in Tokyo for the games, five to seven days before the start of the event on July 23.
“We will go to study abroad. Discussions are ongoing and the place will be finalized in the next few days. It will be a three-week camp. We will return to India to clarify a few things and then head to Tokyo five or seven. days before the games, “Nieva said, outlining the plan for the coming days.
The full conditions of the planned trip will be revealed after the finalization of the place. The Indian boxing team has traveled a lot in the last few months for tournaments and training, including a long trip to Europe.
Home training is 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 quarantine for 10 days.
The Indian boxers won their best medal of 15 at the Dubai event, twice as many as their previous best performance. The medals collected this time include two gold, five silver and eight bronze medals.
The only Olympic gold medalist was Pooja Rani (75 kg), while MC Mary Kom (51 kg) and Amit Panghal (52 kg) took silver medals.
The lone male gold boxer was Sanjit (91kg), who is not part of the Olympic group.
Vikas Krishan (69kg), Simrangit Kaur (60kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) were among the bronze medalists tied to the Olympics.
The others who made the cut for Tokyo are Manish Kaushik (63 kg), Ashish Chaudhari (75 kg) and Satish Kumar (+ 91 kg). Of these, Ashish lost in the quarterfinals in Dubai, and Manish and Satish could not travel due to illness.
“Overall, I’m happy with the performance and I say it’s not just watching the medal. Amit was in great shape, Vikas just wasn’t lucky enough to get injured in the semi-finals, and Ashish also gave a good performance, although he didn’t win a medal,” he said. Nieva.
“Of course, there are small issues that need to be addressed, more specific to individuals, and we will do that in the remaining few weeks before the games. I can say that we are ready with 80 percent, we will sort the remaining 20 percent.” he said added.
Nieva’s minor problems included close-up boxing and body kicks.
“There is certainly a significant improvement and it will continue before we are fully ready for the games,” he said.
In terms of individual performances, Nieva also felt that Pangal was incredibly good all the time, even though he missed the second consecutive gold.
Miniature boxer Hariana lost a final in place of old enemy Shahobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in a repeat of the 2019 World Cup final, which also ended in Zoirov’s favor. The Indian won both of the three rounds, but Zoirov had exactly the right combination of results from individual judges to clear 3-2.
“I think it’s on par with his best performances. He was irresistible and looked really good. We all thought he won this final,” Nieva said.
And then there was Sanjit (91 kg), who overtook in the final the Olympic medalist of silver medal and legend of the tournament Vasily Levitt. Kazakhstan’s Levitt looked good for its fourth gold medal at the event, but was stopped by the debuting Indian in the tournament.
“Sanjit has a lot of positive energy. He is working hard to get where he is, and his improvements are very clear. There were some weaknesses in his game, especially at close range, but he has improved a lot,” Nieva said.
India found its legend at the tournament in Shiva Tapa (64 kg), which won its fifth consecutive medal, finishing with silver. Nieva praised Assam’s boxer, who is also a bronze medalist at the World Championships.