The Indian boxing contingent, players and support staff, exuded confidence ahead of the Asian Games to be held in Jakarta-Palembang. At a send-off organised at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday, the boxers promised to give their best even as the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director-General Neelam Kapur asked them not to put any pressure on themselves.
Neelam assured unstinted “support” from SAI. “This is an important phase. India has played an important role in the Asian Games journey. I want you to do your best but don’t take any kind of pressure.”
Medal hopeful Vikas Krishan Yadav conveyed the mood of the contingent with a confident note.
“We have a good mix of experience and youth. I think this is the best boxing team possible that would be going to the Asian Games. I don’t think we have had a better team than this one. In my opinion, it is a perfect team and you can expect more than five medals.”
Boxing Federation of India (BFI) president Ajay Singh assured the boxers all “help” in the future too. “I know Asian Games will be tough but I am sure you would give your best.”
The ten-member team, including three women, has been honed well by foreign coach Santiago Nieva.
“We have had very good preparations and I expect good results. I feel positive when I see this bunch. Let us accept it is going to be a very tough competition, much tougher than the Commonwealth Games. But we have prepared well. Had a decent camp in England and some good sparring sessions (in Patiala). We are prepared for the task and hopefully we will get good medals.”
Cdr. Rajesh Rajagopalan from the TOPS scheme cautioned the boxers. “You have set high benchmark for yourself in CWG. We are high on the curve and there is no doubt it is a capable team. Our analysis is that the team will put its best punch forward.”
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