Indian boxing contingent to train abroad ahead of Tokyo 2020

Indian men's boxing High Performance Director Santiago Nieva said that the squad is 80 per cent ready but needs to be fine-tuned

By Olympic Channel Writer

Indian boxing contingent will train abroad for three weeks ahead of Tokyo 2020, which will start from July 23, after a break of a few days following their best-ever performance at the Asian Boxing Championships.

The contingent bagged a record haul of 15 medals in Dubai, including two gold, five silver and eight bronze. Their previous best haul of 13 medals (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) came in 2019.

"We will go abroad for training. The discussions are on and the place will be finalised in the next few days," Indian men's boxing High Performance Director Santiago Nieva told PTI.

"It will be a three-week camp. We will come back to India to fine tune a few things, and then head to Tokyo five-seven days before the Games," he added.

High-performance director of the Indian boxing team Santiago Nieva.

Tokyo-bound Pooja Rani (75kg) bagged a gold medal at the Asian Championships while Mary Kom (51kg) and Amit Panghal (52 kg) settled for silver.

Vikas Krishan (69kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), meanwhile, were among the Tokyo-bound boxers to clinch bronze medals in their respective weight category.

"Overall I am satisfied with the performance and I say this not just looking at medal haul. Amit was in terrific form, Vikas was just unlucky to get injured in the semifinals and Ashish also gave a good performance even though he didn't win a medal," Nieva said.

Nieva will largely focus on sorting individual issues during the overseas training for Tokyo 2020.

"Of course there are small issues to be addressed, more specific to individuals and we will do that in the few weeks remaining before the Games. I can say we are 80 per cent ready, we will sort the remaining 20 per cent," he added.

"There is certainly vast improvement and it will continue before we are absolutely ready for the Games," he said.

Panghal had a close encounter with familiar foe Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the 52kg final. In a repeat of the 2019 World Championships final, Zoirov edged past the Haryana boxer 3-2, even though the Indian won two of the three rounds.

"I think this is at par with his best performances. He (Amit Panghal) was unstoppable and looked really good. We all thought he won that final," Nieva said.

The Indian boxing contingent had previously held an Olympic training camp in Europe but the practice at home has been affected due to the Covid-19 second wave in the country.