India's Olympic-bound boxers to get online training amid lockdown

With no training due to the national lockdown, India’s Olympic-bound boxers will now be provided online classes by their coaches from Monday.

M.C. Mary Kom during a practice session.   -  PTI

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has decided to reach out to its Olympic-bound boxers through video conferencing from Monday, in order to guide and keep them motivated during the ongoing lockdown because of COVID-19.

A core group, comprising all Olympics qualified boxers, coaches and support staff, including doctors and physios, has been set up to take care of the needs of the boxers. These conferences will be conducted on a daily basis.

Nine Indian boxers -- M C Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Amit Panghal (52kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) -- have qualified for the Tokyo Games, which has been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boxers, coaches and BFI officials connect through video conferencing.   -  Photo: BFI


In a conference call with these boxers on Sunday, Boxing Federation of India (BFI) president Ajay Singh took stock of their preparations amid a national lockdown till April 14.

“This is a challenging time for all of us and is all the more a reason for us to take care of ourselves...stay fit, continue with the exercises as directed by the coaches and try to maintain your weights as much as possible,” Singh told the boxers.

Chhetri: ‘Stand together and overcome these challenging times’  

“We will tide over this crisis soon and get back to the ring but staying motivated in the meantime is absolutely necessary,” he added.

Elaborating further on the 45-minute discussion, BFI’s executive director R. K. Sacheti told PTI that the areas of concern are diet control and mental health.

“They are at their homes right now where diet can go for a toss. So the idea behind these online classes starting tomorrow is to ensure that they are kept aware of their nutritional needs,” he said.

Sacheti said India boxing’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva, who is now in Patiala after completing a 14-day self-isolation period in Delhi, will be conducting classes for men.

The classes for women will be conducted by their high performance director Rafaelle Bergamasco.

“Santiago is the only boxing coach who is in Patiala right now. He will have access to the boxing hall where he will educate the boxers on technicalities. The idea is to keep them connected and aware,” he said.

“We hope things improve and the lockdown ends but we can’t start from the scratch when that happens. We have to have something going so that when it ends, there is a seamless transtion,” he added.

India booked an unprecedented nine Olympic slots at the Asian qualifiers in Jordan earlier this month.

(with inputs from PTI)

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