In quite a surprising move, both World Championship medalists Gaurav Bidhuri and Shiva Thapa were omitted from the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games without the conventional trials. However, Mary Kom and L Sarita Devi were expectantly selected in the 48kg and 60kg categories respectively.
Former National champion Shiva Thapa was replaced by reigning national champion and India Open gold-medallist Manish Kaushik in the lightweight (60kg) category while bantamweight (56kg) category’s Bidhuri, who was sidelined since August last year with a back injury but is fit now, saw his place taken by Telengana’s Mohammed Hussamuddin. Hussamuddian has recently won a bronze medal in Bulgaria’s Strandja Memorial Tournament.
The selections were reportedly made based on the points system established before the men’s National Championships last October. And although the pugilists were rated by their displays leading up to the Strandja Memorial earlier this month, they got to know about the procedure only in January. The trials will be held only for male boxers in the 91kg and 52kg categories on March 1 and 4, respectively.
“There was no briefing to explain the selection process or the points system. Nobody had a clear idea what is at stake,” said a top official, reported PTI.
In the 75kg division, Vikas Krishan has leapfrogged Mandeep Jangra to represent India, while in the women’s team Mary Kom remained the obvious pick in the 48kg category alongside L Sarita Devi in the 60kg category. The federation will stick by its decision to drop the 57kg category despite protests by Sonia Lather.
Squad: Men: Amit Panghal (49kg), Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg), Manish Kaushik (60kg), Manoj Kumar (69kg), Vikas Krishan (75kg), Satish Kumar (+91kg); Women: MC Mary Kom (48kg), Lovlina Borgoahin (69kg), L Sarita Devi (60kg).