Good showing of boxers not by chance, says Nieva

Indian boxing's Chief performance director, Santiago Nieva, said the work put in by the boxers, good exposure trips and the federation's support were the main factors responsible for the Indian boxing team's fine showing in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Santiago Nieva also said the stiff competition among boxers within the country had raised the bar and would be a boon for Indian boxing. (File Photo)   -  V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Chief performance director Santiago Nieva believes that solid planning, good exposure and the boxers' hard work were the key factors responsible for the Indian boxing team's fine showing in the 2018 Commonwealth Games here.

Talking to Sportstar after the conclusion of the boxing event on Saturday, where India bagged three gold, three silver and three bronze medals, Nieva said, “The result has not come by chance. A combination of factors, such as the hard work of the boxers, a good programme, very good exposure trips and the federation's support contributed in the good show.”

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According to Nieva − who doubled up as the men's coach for the CWG − the consistent showing held the Indian boxers in good stead for upcoming major events, including the 2018 Asian Games and the 2020 Olympics. “Not just this result, if you look at our result in other important events we have been doing well. Now more than two-three boxers are doing well in a major event,” he said.

Nieva gave a fair assessment of all the medallists, including gold winners Vikas Krishan, Gaurav Solanki and Mary Kom. “Vikas was above all his opponents, Gaurav boxed beautifully and what can I say about Mary. She is a legend. She had to fight and she used her experience and class.

“Amit (Panghal) is tremendously talented, but got a very good opponent in the final, Manish (Kaushik) had the toughest draw and Satish (Kumar) had a tough fight in the final (before they settled for the silver).

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“Manoj (Kumar) is experienced but got a good rival, (Mohammed) Hussamuddin's cut in the eyebrow re-opened and Naman (Tanwar) showed his class but has to work on certain areas.”

When asked about why three woman boxers – Sarita Devi, Pinki Rani and Lovlina Borgohain – failed to make it to the medal round, Nieva said they were unlucky to lose narrowly.

He also said the stiff competition among boxers within the country had raised the bar and would be a boon for Indian boxing.

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