A ‘well-prepared’ Indian team braces up for World Women’s Boxing C’ships

Apart from securing podium finishes, the Indian boxers in Olympic weights would try to gather crucial inputs from the Championships, says head coach Mohammed Ali Qamar.

Mary Kom at a practice session at the IG Stadium in New Delhi on Friday. The six-time world champion has now moved to 51kg.   -  PTI

A fine blend of youth and experience may enable the Indian side to give a better performance at the World Women’s Boxing Championships to be held in Ulan-Ude, Russia, from October 3 to 13.

India, as a host, had an impressive outing last year when it had secured one gold, one silver and two bronze medals in Delhi.

‘Good preparation’

Head coach Mohammed Ali Qamar said apart from securing podium finishes, the boxers in Olympic weights would try to gather crucial inputs. “We have got experienced boxers in Olympic weights (51kg, 57kg, 60kg, 69kg and 75kg). The event will be a good preparation for the Olympic qualifier in Wuhan in February,” Qamar told Sportstar before the team’s departure for Ulan-Ude on Sunday.

Two of the four who landed medals in Delhi have missed out in the changing scenario.

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Sonia Chahal, a silver medallist, lost to Neeraj Chahal — who upset Sonia and Asian bronze medallist Manisha Maun to win the India Open gold earlier this year — in the competitive selection trials for 57kg. Simranjit Kaur, a bronze medallist in 64kg, came down to 60kg but lost to the seasoned and determined Sarita Devi.

Mary Kom in action

Six-time World champion M. C. Mary Kom, the gold medallist in 48kg, has jumped to 51kg and has got into the groove to chase her Olympic dream.

Lovlina Borgohain, a 69kg bronze medallist, is the lone boxer who returns to the Worlds in the same weight.

Lovlina Borgohain is the only Indian boxer who returns to the World Championships in the same weight. File Photo: Sandeep Saxena

 

The strong Saweety Boora, a former Worlds silver medallist who defeated Pooja Rani — the 81kg Asian title holder who reduced weight to prepare for the Olympics — in the 75kg trials, will also attract some attention.

In non-Olympic weights like 48kg and 54kg, India has got fine boxers in Manju Rani and Jamuna Boro, respectively.

‘Well-prepared’

Qamar expressed confidence about the build-up.

“The sparring session in Italy earlier this month has motivated us. There were boxers from strong countries like France, South Korea and China. Sparring with the Chinese, who are among the best and don’t go out for such camps, was the biggest positive. Our foreign coach (Rafaelle Bergamasco) has focused on areas like strength, combination [of punches], body attack and upper cuts. Overall, we are well-prepared,” said Qamar.

The squad
  • Manju Rani (48kg), Mary Kom (51kg), Jamuna Boro (54kg), Neeraj (57kg), Sarita Devi (60kg), Manju Bomboriya (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Saweety Boora (75kg), Nandini (81kg), Kavita Chahal (+81kg).