Tokyo Olympics bound women pugilist trio of MC Mary Kom (51kg) Simranjit Kaur (60kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) headline along with seven other boxers who have been called up for the elite women’s national camp, set to begin at the Army Sports Institute in Pune as part of their preparations for the upcoming Summer Games.
However, Pooja Rani (75kg) who is another boxer who has cemented her Olympics berth will not join the others in Pune. She will continue her training at the Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS) in Bellary and for the time being now join the camp.
The camp which would have been held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi is now shifted to Pune especially due to the rising cases of COVID-19. The pugilists who have joined the national camp aswell will be divided into three groups with their sparring partners, staff and coaches. They will be trainings at different sessions which looks like the only way to keep the boxers safe and also they can prepare for the Tokyo Olympics which is just around the corner.
“With the Asian Championships and the Olympic Games approaching, our focus will be to utilise the time we have in hand and maximise the training ahead of these two events. Considering the safety of players, coaches, and support staff, we have created a training plan for players in separate clusters to minimise the risk involved. These are tough times but as much as we have to be careful, we also have a job at hand and we are ensuring our boxers can get back to camp and start training and working to get the best results possible,” said Hemanta Kalita, General Secretary of Boxing Federation of India.
Some of the young boxers have also been included in the national camp. Among which one of them is youth pugilist Arundhati Choudhary (69kg) who recently clinched the gold medal at the AIBA Youth World Championship in Poland. The BFI firmly believes that coming in contact with Tokyo bound boxers will give motivation to the likes of Arundhati and others to reach that level soon.
Apart from her, Jasmine (57kg) who had a great outing in her debut senior international tournament at the Boxam has also been called up. The boxers are set to train under head coach Md Ali Qamar and high-performance director Raffaele Bergamasco.