Commonwealth Games medal winners M Suranjoy Singh and L Devendro Singh, whose stellar boxing careers were cut short by injuries, have been roped in as coaches for men by the national federation ahead of this month's world championships.
The 29-year-old Devendro and the 35-year-old Suranjoy are among 14 coaches that have been short-listed for the national camp in Patiala, starting this week. The mega-event, featuring over 600 boxers from more than 100 countries, begins on October 24 in Belgrade, Serbia.
The other prominent names in the coaching staff are head coach Narender Rana, former junior coach M S Dhaka, the seasoned Dharmendra Yadav and former boxers Diwakar Parsad and Torak Kharpan, among others. The development was confirmed to PTI by Boxing Federation of India (BFI) Secretary General Hemanta Kalita.
Interestingly, both Suranjoy and Devendro have trained under Dhaka at the junior level.
While Suranjoy is a gold medallist from the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2009 Asian Championships, Devendro won a silver in the CWG and made the quarters of the Olympic Games in London, 2012.
Suranjoy had been named an assistant coach in 2017 as well but he could not accept the position due to some personal issues.
"The last time I was named, there were family problems, abhi sab theek han, join kar lenge ," the Manipuri, who won a sensational eight consecutive international gold medals during a stupendous run from 2009 to 2010 before a knee injury hampered his career, told PTI .
"The world championship is going to be a challenging assignment given that the weight categories have been rejigged but we are up for it, and hopefully we can get some good results," he added.
Devendro, a world championships quarterfinalist and an Asian championships silver medallist, was excited as well.
"I finally get a chance to put to use what I have learnt for all these years, I hope I can make it count. It is an honour," said the soft-spoken Manipuri, whose eye sight problems and a debilitating knee injury ensured an early end to his career as a boxer.
Devendro completed his coaching Diploma from Patiala's National Institute of Sports in 2020.
Both Suranjoy and Devendro are part of the Services Sports Control Board, which dominated the National Championships last month, winning eight gold medals.
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) had earlier decided to replace men's chief coach C A Kuttappa with Army Sports Institute's Narender Rana ahead of the mega-event in Serbia, which is also set to mark the end of High Performance Director Santiago Nieva's tenure.
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