The Indian boxers will play a crucial role at Glasgow as a total of 39 medals are up for grabs in 13 weight categories.
A new team
India won seven medals in the last edition of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) which included 3 gold and 4 bronze medals. It was the most successful outing for India in the history of CWG as they finished second in the medal tally behind Australia.
A lot has changed over the last four years with only two medal-winning pugilists from the 2010 team qualifying for this year’s games- Manoj Kumar and Vijender Singh. The current team heading to Glasgow consists of 11 boxers across various categories.
Let us have a look at their prospects.
Will ranking translate into medals?
L Devendro Singh has been impressive ever since he forayed onto the international scene. Although he lost in the quarters at the 2012 London Olympics, he won silver in the Asian Confederation boxing championship. He also won gold at the Bocksai Invitation in Hungary. He is ranked No. 3 in the world in the 49-Kg category. He is known for his speed and aggression.
The top two boxers belong to Kazakhstan and Russia, who will not feature in the CWG. He will be seeded first for the tournament and is a definite favourite to win a gold medal.
Shiva Thapa will be competing in the 51 Kg category. He is ranked No. 3 in the world. He became the youngest Indian to win gold at the Asian Confederation boxing Championship in Jordan.
Manoj Kumar won gold in the last edition of the CWG. The World No. 8 lost to Mongolian Munkh-Erdene in the Asian Championship, but his experience will definitely play a huge role while playing the all crucial matches. He is competing in the 64-Kg category. Mandeep Jangra is coming through the ranks with exceptional performances at the international level. The World No.12 will be looking to extend his form to Glasgow as he features in the 69 Kg category.
Vijender Singh has won bronze at the Olympics and the world championships. He will hope to better it in the CWG in the 75 Kg category.
Sumit Sangwan is a gold medallist at the Asian qualifiers in Astana. Sumit and Shiva are part of the USA knockouts in the World Series of boxing. The World No. 13 will participate in the 81 Kg category and has every chance of going all the way.
The team will miss Asian games silver medallist Dinesh Kumar who was involved in a road accident last month.
Debut of women’s boxing
The women’s boxing will be part of the CWG for the first time. Pinki Jangra made headlines when she qualified ahead of Mary Kom. She will compete in the 51 Kg category.
Sarita Devi (60 Kg) and Pooja Rani (75 Kg) have been in splendid form in the selection trials and will be aiming to convert their good run into medals at Glasgow.Published 21 Jul 2014, 12:00 IST