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Foreign experts with national boxing team will get three months extension, says BFI secretary general  

Satish Kumar gave a brave account of himself during the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Satish Kumar gave a brave account of himself during the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) plans to give two foreign experts associated with the national boxing team a three-month extension. They want to give this time before taking a final call to continue with them or appoint new coaches. The news has been received from Hemanta Kalita, secretary-general of the BFI, on Monday.

BFI’s high-performance director Santiago Nieva from Sweden was appointed in 2017 to supervise the men’s team. Italian expert Raffaello Bergamesco is the head coach of the national women’s team.

The BFI plans to send a proposal to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to extend the contract of foreign coaches. The current agreement is set to expire in September. They plan to extend it until the end of this year, said Hemanta.

“We will send a proposal to SAI to extend the contract of foreign coaches for three months. Thereafter, we will take a call whether to continue with the same coaches or appoint new coaches,” said Hemanta.

According to Hemanta, the decision was made during last week's virtual meeting of the BFI.

BFI satisfied with Tokyo Olympics qualification results

When asked whether the federation was satisfied with the performance of both foreign experts, Hemanta’s response was positive. He said since nine boxers from the country qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games, it raised the profile of Indian boxing.

Since the Tokyo Olympic-bound Indian team got regular international exposure, the federation was expecting more than one medal at the Olympic Games, he added.

Amit Panghal (52kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Satish Kumar (plus 91kg) competed in the men’s category at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Six-time world champion MC Marykom (51kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) competed in the women's section at the Olympic Games

“The boxers were good facilities in the buildup months to the Tokyo Olympic Games. We should have won more than one medal, but only Lovlina Borgohain could win bronze,” said Hemanta.

The BFI has also approved the use of headgear for the senior national men’s boxing championships starting September 15 in Karnataka. Organizing the senior national women’s boxing championships in October was another key agenda approved by the BFI in the last week’s virtual meeing.

According to Hemanta, the finalists in all weight categories during the senior national men’s boxing championships will get an automatic berth in the national camp.

“The gold and silver medalists in all the weight categories will get an automatic berth in the national camp. The BFI will select a third boxer in each of the weight categories through selection trials,” said Hemanta.

According to Hemanta, selected boxers will compete at the next month’s AIBA World Men’s Boxing Championships to be held in Belgrade.

Also Read: BFI plans to introduce headgear for men’s competition during upcoming national championship

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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