A crucial test for the training of boxers related to the Olympic Games, the Asian Championship starts here on Monday, with India aiming to improve its record medal distribution in the previous edition of the event.
A total of 19 Indian boxers – nine men and 10 women – will be vying for the highest honors, which will also come with an unprecedented cash prize bonus this time.
The boxers arrived here on Saturday after several stormy hours, which included a delayed landing and some confusion about the approval documents. In addition, the team had to withdraw the name of the gold medalist from South Asia Vinod Tanwar (49 kg) after testing positively for COVID-19.
The accumulation and the subsequent trip seemed symbolic of the training of Indian boxers this year with COVID-19, which interrupted training several times.
“This will give us a good sign of where we are before the Olympics and where we need to adapt. It would be good for us that way,” Santiago Nieva, director of Indian boxing for high performance, told PTI.
India presented its best performance at the 2019 Asian Championships in Thailand, winning 13 medals, including two gold, four silver and seven bronze. And this time the expectations are high.
“We always come to win. We know it will be a very tough competition with many nations with Olympic qualified boxers and many World Cup medal winners. But we are confident that our team will bring home good results,” Nieva added. with confidence.
From the Olympic qualifying group, defensive champion Amit Pangal (52kg), the winner of the last edition Ashish Kumar (75kg) and former medalist Vikas Krishan (69kg) will be leading the men’s challenge.
Among women, six-time world champion MC Mary Kom, who has won five gold medals in the competition in the past, along with Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and defending champion Pooja Rani (75kg) will be strong bets on medals. All four have left for the Tokyo Games.
Also closely watched will be four-time medalist Shiva Tapa (64 kg), watching the fifth consecutive final on the podium.
He has claimed one gold (2013), one silver (2017) and two bronze medals (2015 and 2019) in his four previous appearances on the show.
This time, too, the International Boxing Association also announced a $ 400,000 prize pool for the event.
The tournament, which was originally planned in India but was moved to Dubai due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will reward $ 10,000 for gold winners.
The prize money for the silver medalist is $ 5,000, and for the two bronze medalists it is $ 2,500 each.
Apart from India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and Uzbekistan are among the prominent countries that will compete in the continental exhibition.
The composition of Kazakhstan looks quite scary with the winners of world medals Saken Bibosinov (52 kg), Ablaikhan Zhusupov (69 kg), Bekzad Nurdauletov (81 kg), Vasily Levit (91 kg) and Kamshibek Kunkabaev (+ 91 kg) in men.
Their four world champions for women – Nazim Kizaibay (51 kg), Dina Zholaman (54 kg), Valentina Halzova (69 kg) and Lazzat Kungaybaeva (+ 81 kg) – will also be in action here.
Men’s: Amit Pangal (52kg), Mohammad Husamudin (56kg), Warinder Singh (60kg), Shiva Tapa (64kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg) , Sanjit (91 kg) and Narender (+ 91 kg).
Women: Monica (48 kg), MC Mary Kom (51 kg), Sakshi (54 kg), Jasmine (57 kg), Simranjeet Kaur (60 kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64 kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg), Puja Rani (75 kg), Saweety (81 kg))) and Anupama (+ 81 kg).