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The sports ministry has decided to use the AK Mishra Memorial boxing tournament,to be held in Chandigarh between March 11 and 15,as testing ground for the Commonwealth Games 2010. This makes it the first one to be funded,to the tune of Rs 10 lakh as prize money and other organisational expenses,under the programme Preparation of teams for the Commonwealth Games 2010.
The Chandigarh tournament has also acquired international status with eight teams confirming participation which are Uzbekistan,Kazakhstan,Mauritius,Mongolia,Malaysia,Sri Lanka,Nepal and Bhutan. It will also be the first event in the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF)s calendar to try and prepare the boxers for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Besides the foreign team,eight best state teams of the country will participate. The Indian teams will been selected on the basis of their performance in the last national championships.
With the competition being held across all 11 weight categories,the prize money would be approximately Rs 90,000 per category. IABF secretary-general Col PK Muralidhran Raja said the gold medal winner in each class could get $1000 while the amount for the silver and bronze medallists will be distributed accordingly.
Even Singapore and a few other countries wanted to send their teams but since the organisers permitted only eight foreign teams we had to limit ourselves, said Raja.
The sports ministry would also pitch in with funds for hospitality and other facilities as well to the extent possible as per the rules for preparation of teams for the Commonwealth Games,he said,adding that the best boxers selected from the tournament will represent the country in the Kings Cup in Bangkok,to be held between April 4 and 9.