Indian men’s high-performance director Santiago Neiva feels that the results in the upcoming Asian Championships will give them a sign as to where they stand before the Olympics. A total of 19 boxers, including seven Tokyo-bound, will be a part of the event which begins on Monday in Dubai.
India is set to field a nine-member boxing contingent at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics – their strongest ever at the Games. However, with the travel restrictions and lockdowns imposed, the preparations have taken a big blow, with the Asian Championships set to be staged in Delhi shifted to Dubai.
It was only a few days ago that there was uncertainty whether the Indian pugilists would be able to travel to Dubai for the competition. But the BFI, working in accordance with the Sports Ministry, were able to get travel and visa clearances for 19 pugilists, including seven Olympic-bound athletes, ahead of the Dubai event.
On Sunday, the entire Indian contingent along with the support staff reached Dubai after overcoming a delayed landing and confusion over paperwork. With the competition set to start on Monday, Indian men’s high-performance coach Santiago Nieva feels that results in the Asian meet will give them a good sign as to where they stand ahead of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
"This will give us a good sign as to where we stand before the Olympics and where we need to adjust. It would be good for us that way," said Santiago Nieva, as reported by PTI.
"We always come to win. We know it will be a very tough competition with many nations featuring Olympic qualified boxers and many medal winners from the world championships. But we are confident that our team will bring home a good results," he added.
In the men’s section, Amit Phangal (52kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Vikas Krishan (69kg) will be in action among the Olympic qualified athletes, while all four Tokyo-bound women boxers – Mary Kom (52kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Simranjit Kaur (60kg) - will be a part of the upcoming event.
India’s squad for the 2021 Asian Boxing Championships:
Women: Monika (48kg), MC Mary Kom (51kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jasmine (57kg), Simranjeet Kaur (60kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Saweety (81kg) and Anupama (+81kg).