The Indian boxers exuded confidence about their preparation and expressed keen desire to dominate the Women’s World Boxing championship at a press conference here on Friday.
In the presence of the Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) president, Ajay Singh, it was not just world champion Nikhat Zareen or Olympic medallist Lovlina Borgohain who were calm despite all the excitement, but each of the 12 boxers competing in the 48kg to 81kg plus weight categories had belief in their ability to excel.
Commending the rise of Indian boxing from 44th rank in the world to No.3, Thakur goaded the organisers to capitalise on the chance to inspire the young generation of boxers by helping them witness the action, at the KD Jadhav Hall of Indira Gandhi Stadium from March 15 to 26.
With the gold medallists assured of $100,000 prize money, apart from $50,000 for silver and $25,000 for bronze, for a total of $2.4 million, the sports minister jokingly said that the “money should stay here”.
Singh also said that it was an added incentive for the boxers who were otherwise focused on doing the nation proud.
With every boxer getting a chance to speak, the universal message was an appeal seeking the blessings of the country, which forced the sports minister to suggest that there should be an #ashirwad on social media, to go with #hertime.
Sweety Boora, who competes in the 81kg section, gave an insight into the bonding and camaraderie in the team by revealing how boxers reminded each other about their strengths and engaged in a lot of positive talk, especially before the bout.
All the boxers were grateful to the federation and the government for extending all possible support in the preparatory camp.
The coach of the team, Dmitry Dmitruk, said that everyone was working together as a unit.
“Hindustan ki betiyan will make Mother India proud. Youngsters look up to you. Please pray for us,” said Dmitruk, as he captured the essence of everyone’s sentiments.
The BFI president said that a team from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would be here during the championship. He also said that India would seek to host any event that carries the Olympic quota places.
Despite some countries pulling out, as the competition would feature Russian and Belarusian boxers, it was announced that more than 350 boxers would represent 74 countries in the championship.
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