Indian boxers given Olympic incentive at World Champs
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) confirmed on Friday (September 6) after an internal meeting that all medal winners at the AIBA Men’s World Championships will be granted a direct entry at the first Olympic qualifier which is scheduled to be held in China next year.
India’s women boxers, on the other hand, will be granted a direct entry if they bag the gold or silver medal in the Worlds.
“The medallist [men] of AIBA World Championship 2019 will be sent directly to the first Olympic qualifier to be held in China,” read the minutes of a meeting of a BFI meeting attended by its main officials, the coaching staff, and the selection committee members.
India’s boxing federation also confirmed that trials will be held in November or December for all the subsequent slots for the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifier being hosted in Wuhan from 3-14 February next year.
However, only those male pugilists who complete at least 85 per cent of the training at the National Coaching Camp in Patiala will be eligible to participate.
For the final world Olympic qualifier, which is slated to be held in Paris May 2020, the Indian Open Boxing will act as the selection trials, giving a final opportunity for the nation’s boxers to make it to Tokyo 2020.
World Championships hopes
The AIBA Men’s World Championships are scheduled to begin on September 7 in Ekaterinburg with several of India’s top candidates like 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Manish Kaushik and 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Satish Kumar set to participate.
Amit Panghal, who won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the 57kg weight category, will also take to the ring in Russia.
India’s eves like Mary Kom, Laishram Sarita Devi and others will take to the boxing ring when the AIBA Women’s World Championships begin in Ulan Ude on September 30th.
Kom, a record six-time World Championships gold medallist, is the defending champion in her 51kg weight category. She has been one of the most consistent performers in Indian boxing over the past two decades, a run that incudes the bronze medal-winning performance at the 2012 London Olympics.
Sarita Devi has also been one of the shining lights of Indian women’s boxing in the recent past, winning three medals at previous World Championships tournaments. She is an Asian Games bronze medalist and has been in splendid form of late.
The veteran boxer won a bronze at the 2019 Asian Boxing Championships held in April and will be confident of replicating that success in Russia.