After India failed to win a medal in boxing at the recently concluded Rio Olympics, coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu has said that he is ready to take “moral responsibility” for the medal-less campaign. The coach also lamented about the lack of an effective federation for the poor show at Rio.
After winning one medal each at the 2008 and the 2012 Olympics, India’s boxing contingent returned empty-handed from Rio with only one boxer making it to the quarters. With the boxing federation of the country in administration turmoil for the past few years, only three boxers managed to make the cut for Rio and among them World Championship bronze medallist Shiva Thapa was considered as a medal prospect. But, the 22-year-old bowed out in the first round of the 56kg category to eventual champion Robeisy Ramírez of Cuba, while Manoj Kumar exited in the pre-quarters of the 64kg category after losing to eventual champion Fazliddin Gaibnazarov of Uzbekistan. Vikas Krishan also looked good for a medal till his quarter-final bout against Bektemir Melikuziev, who won the silver medal.
After returning from Rio, coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said on Saturday that he is ready to take “moral responsibility” for the medal-less campaign.
I am personally hurt and I take moral responsibility for this."
"I am personally hurt and I take moral responsibility for this. But I feel my boys' performance was satisfactory under the current circumstances and with the kind of tough draws they ended up getting. As for other things, I knew what was going on in the last four years but I continued thinking that things would improve," a disheartened Sandhu told PTI in an interview.
"The luck factor was totally zero this time for us. All my boys lost to eventual medallists. I am not trying to save anybody here but we have to be realistic. The draws were very tough," Sandhu said.
With Indian boxing going through a turmoil, Sandhu appealed to the officials to understand what is happening to the sport, which was flourishing till 2012, in the country.
"It is my humble request, let us understand what is happening to our boxers, let us understand their suffering. We need to forget our egos. The first step towards making things right is to have an effective national federation because, without a federation, we are orphans," he was blunt in his observation.
"Nothing can be built without a solid foundation; a smooth-functioning federation is a foundation for any sport. I repeat that without a federation, India will not have a voice in the international arena, no technical representation and that hurts our progress," he added.
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