India’s boxers will face a frenetic round of testing over the next four months, with the national federation unveiling its selection policy for major events such as the Commonwealth and Asian Games to be held between July and September this year. Under the selection policy of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), which is owned by PTI, the first series of trials for the Women’s World Championships in May was to be held in Turkey next month. “At the same time, elite women’s selection trials will also be held to select boxers for the Asian Games,” the policy said.
Although the dates are not mentioned in the document, it was learned from reliable federation sources that the world championships would be held from March 7-9, followed by the Asiad trials from March 10-13.
The women’s trials for the Commonwealth Games are held in June.
The men will undergo “mid-May” selection trials for both the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
The CWG is scheduled to be first on the race calendar, which will be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8, while the Asiad will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25.
“The selection committee will consist of the President, BFI (or its nominee) and an expert panel of renowned experienced boxers, preferably Arjuna/Dronacharya winners, former Olympians and medalists from previous world championships,” the policy said.
The trial periods would be filmed to avoid complaints and all national campers will be eligible to compete.
Both the Commonwealth and Asian Games will be pivotal events for Indian boxing after the lackluster Olympic performance in Tokyo last year.
Of the unprecedented nine who qualified, including five men and four women, only Lovlina Borgohain was able to finish on the podium with bronze in the Japanese capital.
It led to an overhaul of the coaching staff and new head coaches for both men and women were recruited.
While the men’s camp is now led by Narender Rana, the women’s camp is overseen by former youth coach Bhaskar Bhatt.
This was after the BFI conducted an evaluation of Olympic performance, which came as a shock given the brilliant form the boxers had displayed in the run-up to the Games.
The five men who went to Tokyo, including world number one Amit Panghal, have not competed since the disappointing campaign and went to the national camp last month.
They skipped the 2021 National Championships due to fitness issues and were unable to travel to Bulgaria for the ongoing Strandja Memorial tournament, thinking they were not “competition ready” yet. India had won nine medals, including three gold, and an equal number of silver and bronze medals in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The gold medalists that year were six-time world champion MC Mary Kom, Gaurav Solanki and Vikas Krishan.
Both Mary Kom and Krishan would be aiming for an encore in the upcoming CWG.
The Asian Games had yielded gold and bronze, with Panghal taking the yellow metal and Krishan taking third place.
Topics mentioned in this article