More than a year ago,when the women boxers,including Mary Kom,were preparing for the trials for the Indian team for World Championship,a London Olympics qualifying event,a nervous boxer had to decide on taking part in her usual 81 Kg category or to drop her weight category to 75 Kg,a category that was going to be included in Olympics. However,she quickly made up her mind and it was then that the six-time national champion,Kavita Chahal,decided to take part in the world championships in her usual category,81 Kg- a category above the 75 Kg category.
Chahal strongly backed her decision to stick to her weight category and she was rewarded for it when she became the only Indian boxer to win a medal in the Worlds at China by clinching a bronze. While the achievement was something to cheer for,it also meant that Chahal failed to make it to the 75 kg division for the London Olympics.
Now back in India after winning a gold in the World Police Games held in Belfast,Ireland,the Haryana-based boxer has already started working on the plans in advance for the Rio Olympics.
It’s good to bag a medal at the international medal. After last year’s World Championship,I did not take part in any international tournament. It was tough to choose my priority before the World Championships and I thought taking part in 81 Kg has its own positives. However,I also missed the opportunity to participate in London Olympics. I reached the semi-finals in 81 Kg and if the same result had come in the 75 Kg category,I would have qualified for London Olympics. We were supposed to go to Kazakhstan but the tournament was cancelled. Playing in Europe is always a challenge and I am eager to participate more in such tournaments, shared Chahal,27,who scored a 4-0 win over Ireland’s Diana Chaupbell in the final.
Chahal was never short of inspiration when she decided to take to boxing. Her father,Bhup Singh,and two brothers already into boxing,Chahal knew that her heart was into boxing. Her tryst with fame began soon as she displayed tremendous potential in every tournament. Till now,Chahal has won the national title seven times,apart from adding four medals in the Asian Boxing Championships so far. However,it is her medals in the World Championships- bronze in 2010 and 2012- that adorn the walls in her residence.
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Chahal,a part of the national camp,now hopes to participate in the 81 Kg category till the World Championships to be held in Canada before she will think of shifting to another weight category. The world body AIBA is in talks to increase the weight-categories from three to five in coming month and this time,Chahal would not mind changing her weight category.
The World Championships will be played in Canada next year and I am aiming for a title in the championship. I am also keeping an eye on the AIBA’s decision to increase the quota to five weight-categories and I will consider dropping to 75 Kg if they persist with three weight categories. It will be difficult to fight in a lower-weight category but this time,I will be planning it in a phased manner. There are three years to go for Rio Olympics and I would aim for a slot in the 75 Kg,” shared Chahal,a head constable with Haryana Police.
Chahal,who belongs to village Neemdi near Bhiwani,practices with her younger sister Poonam Chahal,a bronze medallist in the World Junior Championship,at the Bhiwani Boxing Club and she counts the experience enriching for both the sisters.
Poonam started boxing on my insistence and has won the national sub-junior title five times apart from the World Championship bronze medal in Turkey in 2011. Whenever I am at home,both of us spar together and coach Jagdish has been a motivational force for us, shared Chahal.