With six medals - two silver and four bronze - across both the men's and women's divisions in the recently concluded AIBA World Boxing Championships, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is no doubt looking forward to February's qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
As part of the lead-up will be an Olympic Test Event at Tokyo between 26th October and 1st November. Towards that end, the BFI has announced a squad for the event, comprising of some of the most noteworthy Indian pugilists not participating in the qualifiers.
Heading the list is Nikhat Zareen, who won bronze at the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships earlier this year in the flyweight (51kg) category defeating 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Chang Yuan from China. The Indian had also won gold at the 2014 Nations Cup International Boxing Tournament held in Novi Sad, Serbia, edging Russia's Ekaterina Paltceva in the 51kg class.
Also of note are Shiva Thapa and Sumit Sangwan. Like Zareen, Thapa also secured bronze at the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships this year after defeating Uzbekistan's Shakurjon Rahimov in the lightweight (60kg) category.
Back in 2012, Thapa became the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics. Ranked third in the AIBA Men's World Ranking bantamweight category, he is only the third Indian to secure gold at the Asian Games and the third to win a medal at the AIBA World Boxing Championships.
Sangwan is widely seen as one of the hard-luck boxers in the business as nagging injuries have robbed him of many chances to display his true potential. A gold winner at the 2012 Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Astana, Kazakhstan, he has also represented India at the London Olympics and the AIBA World Boxing Championships.
Here’s the complete list of boxers shortlisted for the event:
Nikhat Zareen (51kg), Simranjeet Kaur Baatth (60kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Ananta Pralhad Chopade (52kg), Shiva Thapa (63kg), Ashish (69kg), Vanhlimpuia (75kg), Sumit Sangwan (91kg), Santiago Danial Nieva (Coach), Sandhya Gurung (Coach), Aayush Chitranjan Yekhande (Physio)