Khelo India Youth Games: Tingmila Doungel moves into final in 48kg boxing

Manipur’s Tingmila Doungel defeats Laxmi Patil on points after fighting three rounds.

Aiming high: Tingmila Doungel hopes to participate in the Olympic games. Photo: Special Arrangement

Tingmila Doungel, Manipur’s 16-year-old pugilist, defeated Laxmi Patil on points in the semifinals of the 48kg category at the Khelo India Youth Games on Thursday.

After getting a walkover in the quarterfinals, Tingmila was a class apart in the semis at the Balewadi indoor complex here; she glided in for a burst of punches and moved out of range when her opponent closed in to land blows. She eventually won after fighting three rounds.

Tingmila is among a rising number of teenage girls harbouring dreams of participating in the Olympics. “I want to fight at the Olympic Games and 2020 is my target to get there,” says the light-flyweight, who trains at the Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation.

Initial resistance

However, Tingmila’s journey hadn’t begun without some resistance by her family. Her father Lungsat, a paddy farmer, had dissuaded her daughter from taking up boxing professionally, initially. Recalls Tingmila, the second among five siblings, “He said boxing is of no use for girls and told me to study very well to become someone big.”

His stubborn daughter stood her ground and moved to the academy located at National Games Village in Langol, Imphal. From that time, Doungel senior visits her twice a month. “I got admission into the boxing academy in 2015 after appearing for the trials there with 50 other girls. Nine got selected. I go home during the vacations,” says the 10th standard student at Mario Montessary School.

Read | BFI postpones India Open boxing tourney

“When I reach home, father asks me to be sincere about training and feels our family will be fine one day. My smallest sister is curious to know if I get blows on the face or any other part of the body,” she reveals.

Toughening the body to absorb blows to the face and elsewhere is part of training. “We start at 5.30 am with warm-up and then each one works out as per the schedule decided by our coaches,” she says.

‘Ready to work hard’

Saturdays at the academy, which takes care of her expenses, are spent watching videos on famous boxers like Mike Tyson. Asked about her favourite movie, she answers, “Mary Kom, the movie. I got interested in boxing after watching it.”

The youngster appeared for trials in 2015, and after four years of training under coaches deputed to instruct young trainees, is confident about the future. “World Championship or Asian Games medal will bring me success. Boxing made me confident and I am ready for hard work to get there,” she declares.