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Road to Jakarta Asian Games 2018: Indian boxers to aim for glory from 24th August

890   //    31 Jul 2018, 16:19 IST

Vikas Krishan

Following an extremely successful outing at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the Indian boxers are now gearing up for the next challenge -- the upcoming Asian Games 2018, where they will flex their muscles against the Asian powerhouses of boxing at the Jakarta International Expo Hall.

The boxers, who brought home 3 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals from the Commonwealth Games, will aim to either replicate the same, or even better the record, in order to strengthen their claim for a historic podium finish at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Interestingly, out of the 7 male boxers, 5 are Commonwealth Games medallists, of which Gaurav Solanki and Vikas Krishan Yadav have had the fortune of clinching the top honours on debut.

One of the best stints for India at the Asian Games boxing has been in the Guangzhou edition, where the pugilists claimed a total of 9 medals, including 2 gold. Surely, Team India would love to replicate or even better this performance.

Though it is easier said than done, India are no pushovers now, thanks to the diligent services provided by the men's boxing coach, Santiago Nieva. From a below average stint at Rio 2016, the Indian male boxers improved massively, so much so that in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, none of the boxers returned empty-handed. All the eight male boxers came back with at least a bronze medal, if nothing else.

24th August is the day when the boxing event officially begins for both the male, as well as the female boxers. The preliminaries will continue till 27th August, following which the quarter-finals will be conducted for the same on 28th and 29th August.

Following a day of rest, the semi-finals will be held on 31st August, and the finals as well as the victory ceremony for the boxing event will be conducted on the 1st of September.

Existent since the edition of the Asian Games held at Manila in 1954, the boxing event has been a favourite for the Indian contingent. The Indians have been garnering medals from this sport consistently, except for a brief lull in the early 80s and 90s, until Dingko Singh broke the jinx to win the gold medal at the Bangkok Asiad 1998.

Asian Games 2018 : Sarjubala aims for a strong comeback
Sarjubala aims for a strong comeback

Since then, India has never looked back. The Asian Games also serve as the comeback tournaments for ex-junior world champions-cum-World Championship silver medallists, Sarjubala Devi and Sonia Lather. Sarjubala, who plays in the same category as her idol -- the iconic Indian boxer Mary Kom, will look forward to staking her claim for the Tokyo Olympics through an impressive performance in this tournament, as well as the upcoming AIBA World Championships.

Following is the Indian squad for the boxing event at the Jakarta Asian Games 2018

Men's Category

  1. Amit Kumar Panghal [Light Flyweight - 49 kg.]
  2. Gaurav Solanki [Flyweight - 52 kg.]
  3. Mohammad Hussamuddin [Bantamweight - 56 kg.]
  4. Shiva Thapa [Lightweight - 60 kg.]
  5. Dheeraj Rangi [Light Welterweight - 64 kg.]
  6. Manoj Kumar [Welterweight - 69 kg.]
  7. Vikas Krishan Yadav [Middleweight - 74 kg.]

Women's Category

  1. S. Sarjubala Devi [Flyweight - 51 kg.]
  2. Sonia Lather [Bantamweight - 57 kg.]
  3. Pavitra [Lightweight - 60 kg.]