Boxer Sarita Devi: One-year break allowed me to recharge my batteries
Having served out a one-year ban, Laishram Sarita Devi is now all geared up to hit the competitive circuit as she takes part in a training-cum-competition event in Qian?an, China later this week.
Her emotional outburst at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, where she refused to accept her bronze medal after a controversial semifinal defeat, probably gave her more ‘news space’ than her exploits in the ring.
Having served out a one-year ban, Laishram Sarita Devi is now all geared up to hit the competitive circuit as she takes part in a training-cum-competition event in Qian’an, China later this week.
The week-long exposure stint will be hugely beneficial for the ace Manipuri pugilist. “I’m really looking forward to this exposure trip to China. The exposure will be handy as I will be sparring against boxers from China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Thailand - these boxers will challenge me the most in my lightweight category (60-kg)”, Sarita says, a day before departing for China.
The 2006 AIBA World Champion only knows the importance of the China tour with the Rio Olympics less than a year away. “We will be training in Qian’an, which will host the Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament from March 23 to April 3 next year. The winner of the Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament secures an Olympic berth and we then have a second chance of qualifying by reaching the final of the 2016 AIBA World Championship, which will be held in Kazakhstan in May. Olympic berths are for grabs and I want to be in best shape for the Asian Olympic qualifiers and am really keen to be at my best during my trip to China,” she says.
Sarita, who also won bronze medals in the 2005 and 2008 AIBA World Championships, used the ban-induced one year period productively, including undergoing a surgery on her right wrist. “I was having trouble with my wrist and thanks to Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), my surgery was smoothly done. The break allowed me to spend time with my two and a half-year-old son Tomthil, whom I miss so much when I am doing national duty. Overall the break enabled me to recharge my batteries,” she says.
Sarita is part of a 13-member Indian boxing team that will be in China. Besides Sarita, there two other women boxers accompanying her – Pinki Jangra and Pooja Rani.