Not satisfied with a silver at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG), fast-rising Indian boxer Amit Panghal has set his sights on the Asian Games, saying it will be his big test and he would look to improve his speed.
The 22-year-old, from Rohtak, settled for a silver medal, after losing to England’s Galal Yafai, in the men’s light flyweight (49kg) final, at Gold Coast.
“I had a good CWG. I worked hard and I got a medal. Of course, I had hoped for a gold but got silver, and I am not satisfied by that. I will have to work on my speed. My next target is the Asian Games,” Amit said.
“However, Asian Games will be very tough and it would be a big test for me. I will prepare for that, accordingly. We’ll have to watch the videos of our opponents and work on our weaknesses and prepare under our coaches."
“Also, there would be invitational tours. We are going to the US, under the TOP scheme, for a 20-day training, which will help us,” added the 2017 Asian Championships bronze medallist.
Amit, who had won the gold medal, in his debut appearance, at the national championships, in 2017, said that it is a big achievement for the Indian boxing contingent, to return with nine medals at the CWG.
“If you look at the overall performance, it is the first time we have won so many medals at CWG. The first time, all boxers reached the semifinals and it is a very big achievement. If we can continue the training with our coaches, and put in the hard work, I am sure we will win medals at Asian Games and Olympics,” he said.
Amit revealed that he had suffered an injury in his left arm, during the final bout, and missed out on a gold. “There was not much difference. If I wasn’t injured, I could have given a tough fight and won a gold. He was a tough boxer. However, if I could have played my game, maybe, there was a chance,” he said.
“Now, the injury is fine. There is swelling, but hopefully, I will be better in a week. I would be leaving for the US, for training, on May 1. I will be fine by then and, so, it would a good preparation for the upcoming events.”
He also credited the High-Performance Director Santiago Nieva, for India’s show at Gold Coast. “Our new coach has a huge contribution to our performance. He made us work on our strength and speed, and to his credit, wherever and whenever, he has trained boxers, who have always won medals,” he said.
Asked how did he take up the sport, Amit said: “I had started in 2008. My uncle trains boxers near my village (Maina in Rohtak) and my brother (Ajay) used to go there, and I used to go with my brother for physical fitness. So, there he saw something in me and he started training me."
“Later, I have been training at Patiala, since 2015, under India’s top coaches. However, whenever I get off, on Saturday and Sunday, I go to him and he always gives me good inputs.”
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