Amit Panghal sets Indian boxers an Olympic medal target
Ace Indian boxer and the world No. 1 in the 52kg category Amit Panghal has stated that the Indian boxing contingent is eyeing five to six medals at the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Indian boxers put up a solid display at the Asian Boxing qualifiers in Amman in early March this year, which saw nine boxers book their tickets to Tokyo, which will be India’s largest boxing contingent ever at the Summer Games.
And with one Olympic qualification tournament - the World Olympic Qualifying Event - yet to take place before the Games start in July next year, Amit Panghal is optimistic about India’s chances.
“We are currently aiming for at least five or six medals in the upcoming Olympics both in men and women categories,” Amit Panghal told Sportskeeda.
“We have a total of 13 boxers and of which nine have already qualified, so we are hoping to get a good number of medals.
“There is still one qualification round due before the Olympics and we are positive that our remaining boxers will also qualify,” he added.
Standing up to powerhouses
Boxing has long been dominated by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan with the countries going on to win seven and five medals respectively, across various categories, at the 2026 Rio Olympics.
For India, however, it was only after Vijender Singh’s bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing that the country turned its attention to the sport. It was followed by MC Mary Kom becoming the first Indian woman boxer to win a medal with another bronze at the 2012 Olympics.
Amit Panghal, who defeated Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov to win the 2018 Asian Games gold medal, believes that India have now started standing up to the world contenders and the development in infrastructure and training techniques has helped.
“In the last 20 years, things have been different for us and there has been a big evolution in terms of training and diet.
“We are not only working hard these days but we are also using world-class techniques and technology for our improvement and this has been showing good results for all of our boxers.
“Things are different now. Our Indian boxers are very much capable of defeating them (Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan boxers) and their top boxer, and we have been doing that of late,” he added.