Dilly-dallying on part of the Indian boxing federation (IBF) over holding the men’s national championship,which is likely to miss its traditional October-November date,means time is running out to hone the skills of emerging talent with the potential to blossom at next year’s Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
The IBF functioning is presently in limbo. As it is yet to hold elections in keeping with the new constitution – which requires age and tenure caps for officials and the presence of an International Boxing Federation (AIBA) official to be present during the polls – IBF remains banned.
Even IBF’s Annual General Meeting had to be postponed on two occasions earlier this year.
The significance of the nationals cannot be discounted because boxers from 30 teams,including powerhouses Services and Railways,will be keen to showcase their talent. Importantly,like Beijing Olympics bronze-medal winner Vijender Singh,said,it helps identity a pool of boxers across different weight categories. In a sport where one spot is available per weight category at international events,the country’s best boxers must be given every opportunity to prove their mettle.
Last year’s nationals held at Hyderabad saw budding boxers stamp their class in at least three weight categories – 60,69 and +91.
Mandeep Jangra,the gold-medal winner in the 69 kilogram category was selected to the national camp. Jangra,along with winners in the super heavyweight and lightweight,Satish Kumar and Vikash Malik,respectively,were part of the Indian team at the World Championships held in Almaty,Kazakhstan. This trio gained from the exposure and two of them – Satish and Malik – are considered the best in their respective weight categories.
Even those who didn’t travel abroad benefited as the medalists in each weight category were included in the national camp where they sparred with the likes of Commonwealth Games gold medalist Paramjeet Samota and seasoned campaigner Suronjoy Singh.
IBF will also have to get the Indian railways (over 30 per cent of boxers represent the railways),which boycotted the senior women championships held earlier this year to protest the delayed elections.
Nitin is a principal correspondent based in Chandigarh.
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