Commonwealth Games 2018 : Indian boxers to try their luck from 5th April
Once the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games comes to a close on 4th of April, the following day, i.e. 5th April, will witness the beginning of multiple events associated with the current CWG, including boxing, which is to be held at the makeshift venue of Oxenfam Studios, well known for creating movies like Scooby Doo, The Chronicles of Narnia 3, Pirates of the Carribean etc.
According to the format, as laid out on the Gold Coast CWG website, each category of boxing, for both men and women, shall be divided into groups of 32 boxers each, who shall fight each other on a knockout basis, in order to book their places into the semifinals, and assure themselves of a place on the ultimate podium. The boxing events shall begin from 5th of April and will carry on till 14th of April when the boxing segment shall end with the gold medal playoffs for the respective categories.
Following is the schedule, as laid out by the Organizing Committee of the Gold Coast CWG 2018:-
- 5 to 9 April:- Preliminaries [Round of 32, Pre Quarter Finals [Both Men and Women]]
- 10 & 11 April:- Quarterfinals [Both men and Women]
- 12 April:- Day of Rest
- 13 April:- Semifinals [Both Men and Women]
- 14 April:- Gold Medal Playoffs
Chances for India's male boxers:-
After a mixed bags throughout the years of 2016 and 2017, it's time for the Indian male boxers to return in form and pull up their socks, as they face their first major challenge in the form of the Commonwealth Games 2018.
According to the list as displayed by the Indian Olympic Association, 8 male boxers have made the cut for the boxing event at the Gold Coast CWG 2018, and for the first time, boxers like Shiva Thapa and Gaurav Bidhuri, who were otherwise a regular part of the Indian contingent since the Delhi edition, are not accompanying the Indian team this time.
With mostly fresh faces going this time, all eyes shall be set chiefly on the two veteran boxers, ex world junior champion Vikas Krishan Yadav and gold medalist from Delhi CWG 2010, Manoj Kumar. While Vikas shall be aiming to clinch the gold and end the gold medal drought for India, existing since 2010, Manoj shall be aiming to repeat his Delhi 2010 performance after having missed out on the podium in the previous edition at Glasgow.
Other boxers to look out for would be light flyweight boxer Amit Panghal, who has replaced the 'Pocket Dynamo' L. Devendro Singh, the silver medalist of the previous edition, along with Gaurav Solanki, who shall be competing in the flyweight category.
Chances for Indian women boxers:-
This time around, the Indian women's boxers have a better chance at the gold medal than before. Women's boxing, introduced at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 edition, has now expanded further, introduced an additional slot of the light flyweight category [46 - 49 kg.] category, which is the pet favorite of five-time world champion and London Olympics bronze medalist M.C. Mary Kom, who is making her Commonwealth debut in this very category.
Though down with the trauma of not making it to Rio Olympics, Mary is far from being out of contention and has a golden chance of bringing a gold medal, since she is not facing her prime opponent Nicola Adams in this category. Besides, Mary Kom has made her intentions very clear the previous year: she is not going to retire until and unless she has the Olympic gold in her kitty, even if it means to slog it out at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
With a win at the Asian Boxing Championships 2017 as well as the recently concluded India Open boxing championship, Mary Kom looks all set for a historic gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. Another contender for the gold would be her chief opponent on the national level in Women's Flyweight category, Pinki Rani Jangra, who had won a bronze medal in the previous edition. With no Mary Kom to trouble her, she would be aiming to change the color of her medal this time, and place her as another contender for a medal at Tokyo Olympics.
Also in contention for a medal would be veteran boxer Laishram Sarita Devi, who has returned to the amateur category after dabbling for a while in professional boxing. Winner of the silver medal in the previous edition, Sarita shall be looking forward to staking her claim on the seemingly unthinkable: the gold medal. We wish the boxers the best and hope that they return with lots of medals.
Following is the lineup for the boxing event at CWG 2018 from India, for both men and women:-
Men's Boxing category:-
Amit Kumar Panghal [49 kg. light flyweight], Gaurav Solanki [52 kg. flyweight], Mohammad Hussamuddin [56 kg. bantamweight], Manish Kaushik [60 kg. lightweight], Manoj Kumar [69 kg. welterweight], Vikas Krishan Yadav [75 kg. middleweight], Naman Tanwar [91 kg. heavyweight], Satish Kumar [+91 kg. superheavyweight]
Women's Boxing category:-
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom [46-49 kg. light flyweight], Pinki Rani Jangra [51 kg. flyweight], Laishram Sarita Devi [60 kg. lightweight], Lovlina Borgoahin [69 kg. welterweight]