A COVID-19 case within the Indian men’s boxing team derailed its final at the 35th Boxam International Tournament in Castellon, Spain. It has resulted in three withdrawals from the summit clashes.
As Olympic-bound Ashish Kumar (75kg) tested positive for the novel coronavirus, his room-mates Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) were forced to withdraw from the finals on Saturday night. All three of them ended with silver medals.
"What started as a great competition has ended in an anti-climax," Indian boxing high performance director Santiago Nieva told PTI from Castellon. Ashish is "asymptomatic and is doing fine." He will self-isolate in Castellon for two weeks before heading back to India.
Hussamuddin and Sumit have tested negative and are travelling back with the team which will land in Mumbai on Monday. Also unable to compete in the final was veteran Satish Kumar (+91kg) due to "sickness."
Kaushik the sole gold medallist
Manish Kaushik (63kg) ended up as the sole gold medallist for India , beating Denmark's Nikolai Terteryan in the summit clash to complete a brilliant comeback from a knee injury which kept him out of action for a year. Among women, Simranjit Kaur (60kg), who is also bound for the Olympics, was forced out of her final after her semifinal opponent - Kiria Tapia of Puerto Rico - tested positive for the coronavirus. Simranjit, however, returned a negative test.
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"Because of local government regulations, she could not compete," Indian women's boxing high performance director Raffaele Bergamasco said.
Vikas Krishan (69kg) was the only other male boxer to compete on Sunday, losing a gruelling contest to Spain's Youba Sissokho.
Krishan was left with a cut above his right eye in the ferocious contest.
In the women's draw, Pooja Rani (75kg) and Jasmine (57kg) also signed off with silver medals after being beaten by superior opponents in American Melissa Graham and Italian Irma Testa respectively.
India's campaign thus ended with one gold, eight silver and one bronze medal that was claimed by six-time world champion M. C. Mary Kom.
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