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Pandemic strikes elite men’s boxing camp at NIS, several boxers test positive for COVID-19

File picture of India's Akash in action at the 2021 World Boxing Championship in Belgrade. (Photo credits: BFI)
File picture of India's Akash in action at the 2021 World Boxing Championship in Belgrade. (Photo credits: BFI)
Navneet Singh
EXPERT

The third wave of the pandemic has disrupted the elite men’s national boxing camp at the National Institute of Spots (NIS) in Patiala. According to an official familiar with the development, of the 60 boxers shortlisted for the national camp, nearly half have tested positive for COVID-19.

“The situation isn’t healthy at NIS," a senior boxer attending the national camp told Sportskeeda over the phone from Patiala. "There is a possibility of more boxers testing positive for COVID-19 as three to four athletes are staying in a single room.
“As of now I am okay," he added. "But don’t know what will happen next day as every second athlete in the camp is falling sick."

Chief national coach Narendra Rana and national boxing camp coordinator CA Kuttappa are among the half-a-dozen coaching staff who have symptoms of COVID-19.

Chief national coach Narendra Rana wasn’t available for comment.

“The symptoms of some of the boxers who have tested positive for COVID-19 are mild but they are in insolation and aren’t allowed to go out for practice,” said another boxer.

The elite men’s boxing camp started on January 3 and will continue until March 14. The camp is in preparation for upcoming international events, including the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and the Hangzhou Asian Games in September.

While the men’s national camp is being held in Patiala, the elite national women’s boxing camp is in progress at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex in New Delhi.

“Two female boxers have also contracted the virus and are staying in isolation,” said an official associated with the women’s camp at IG Stadium.
“Since several boxers have tested positive for COVID-19, it looks doubtful whether the Indian U22 boxing team will be able to compete at the Asian U22 Boxing Championship in Tashkent starting from January 20,” said a player attending the women’s camp.

Meanwhile, some prominent boxers like 2019 world silver medalist Amit Panghal are yet to join the camp.


Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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