Asian Games | We are going in with a good frame of mind, says Santiago Nieva

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Asian Games | We are going in with a good frame of mind, says Santiago Nieva

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SportsCafe Desk


Boxing Federation of India's (BFI) chief executive Santiago Nieva believes that the Indian boxing squad will be heading to the Asian Games with a good frame of mind after their vigorous training. Earlier this year, Indian boxers had accounted for nine medals in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Indian boxers had accumulated four bronze and one gold medal at the 2014 edition at Incheon, while claiming four bronze, three silver, and two gold medals at the 2010 Asian Games. Indian boxers this year will be aiming at surpassing these records.

“We had good preparation in Sheffield and good training and sparring sessions in Patiala after coming back. We are going in a good frame of mind. Although the competition will be tough in Asian Games, Indian boxers have been doing very well in the international arena, especially this year,” Boxing Federation of India's Director Santiago Nieva told TOI.

Despite their amazing performance this year, Nieva doesn't want to put an unnecessary pressure on the boxing squad.

“The best boxers in the world comes from countries like Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in all the weight categories. In CWG, there were only 2-3 countries to challenge us but at the Asian Games there will be at least 10,” he added.

Sarjubala Devi will be competing in the 51 kg women's category - a category where Mary Kom had fetched the gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games. Sarjubala, who has dyed her hair blonde, stated that she wants a similar coloured medal at the Asian Games this year.

“I dyed my hair after the Commonwealth Games. I was determined to change my looks as well as my training style heading into the Asian Games-hair colour to match the colour of the medal. I got it done on the suggestion of one of my friends to give me additional motivation,” Sarjubala told TOI.

“I don't put pressure on myself by thinking about medals or what Mary didi did in the last Asian Games. But I have always had the support of my family and neighbours in Manipur to keep me going."

One of the World Champion Vikas, who acquired a gold medal in 2010 Asian Games, shared his expectations regarding this year.

“The situation was completely different in 2014. We didn't even have a federation back then. But this time around, we have an efficient federation. We have got a lot of exposure all over the world in the last couple of years. We are definitely hoping for a much better result in the tournament this time,” Vikas told TOI in an interaction on the sidelines of the send off event.

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