Indian Boxers Gearing for the Asian Boxing Championship
The 2011 ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships will be held from August 3-13, 2011. The harbour city of Incheon in South Korea will host the biennial event. The Asian Championship will be a good testing ground for the big-ticket tourneys coming up later this year. Incheon would also be hosting the 17th Asian Games in 2014 and will allow the participating nations to get better acquainted with the climatic conditions.
The selected eight boxers who would represent India are currently engaged in honing their skills for the event at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, along with the rest of the campers. The team has been training hard on their new strategies getting more adept with the new approved scoring system. The XXVI edition of the championships will sever as a preparatory ground for the first qualifying event for 2012 London Olympics – the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships which slated to be held in September this year at Baku, Azerbaijan (September 22-October 10).
Coach Jaidev Bisht believes this tournament will be a good opportunity to access the level of competition that Asia offers, although he thinks with the World Championships nearing not all countries would be willing send their top players. He said, “I won’t be surprised if some of the countries send a second string team to participate in the tournament with the first qualifying event round the corner”. He further added, “This competition will allow us to further assess our pugilists; the extra work put in on their strengths and weaknesses in the run up to the qualifying events, will make the difference”.
Olympian Dinesh Kumar in light heavy weight category will spearhead the Indian attack at the Asian Championships. Dinesh who bagged a silver medal in the 2010 Asian Games would be making his second appearance at the international stage. The 22 year old who lost in the quarter-final of the Giraldo Córdova Cardin in Cuba earlier this year is looking to make amends and get back to winning ways. He said, “Cuba was my first International tournament after a long break. We have been training very hard for the last few months and I am confident of a good showing at the championships”.
Accompanying Dinesh in the heavy weight cadre would be Paramjeet Samota (+91kg) a gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games and a bronze medallist Asian Games last year. Samota has done well this year; he bagged a gold medal at “Belgrade Winner” an international boxing tournament in Belgrade, Serbia along with the best boxer award and also won a bronze in Cuba Giraldo Córdova Cardin. Buoyant with confidence the 23 year old says, “Everyone is looking to get an Olympic berth, a good performance at the championships will be big boost and help my cause and that’s what I am looking to ensure”.
2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallists, Amandeep Singh (49kg) and Jai Bhagwan (60kg) will also be seen in action at the Asian Championships. Playing their second international tournament this year, both the boxers would be looking to get more exposure and match practice under his belt via this event.
Santosh Harijan (52kg) and Shiva Thapa (56kg) also made a place in the squad. The services boxers, who are currently participating in the World Military Games, have also had a favourable performance so far this year. While Shiva won gold at the “Belgrade Winner” in Serbia, Santosh has two bronze medals to his name – one at international tourney in Kazakhstan and the other in Cuba.
The complete squad is as follows:
Light Fly Weight (49kg)
Fly Weight (52kg)
Bantam Weight (56kg)
Light Weight (60kg)
Light Welter Weight (64kg)
Mandeep Singh Jangra
Welter Weight (69kg)
Middle Weight (75kg)
Light Heavy Weight (81kg)
Heavy Weight (91kg)
Super Heavy Weight (+91kg)
B I Fernandez
Jagdish C Malik