Three Daman and Diu boxers, who have made it to the medal rounds, have not only brought laurels for the Daman and Diu Boxing Association (DDBA), but also have enabled the tiny union territory register its name in the Khelo India medals tally.
For coach Vijay Pahal, who was instrumental in giving the sport identity in the UT, it is a matter of great satisfaction that his effort over eight years has started showing results.
A former boxer, who won medals in National championships, Pahal made a move from Haryana to the UT on invitation from DDBA secretary Amarjeet Singh, who wanted someone to spar with his son as he was training in Gurgaon.
People from different states, especially from Haryana, working in various industries in Daman and Diu provided talent to the UT boxing.
Pahal, a student of Arjuna award winner and former Asian champion Rajkumar Sangwan, began an academy for the DDBA and Amarjeet chipped in by setting up a ring.
“The association has provided a lot of support. Then the Sports Department purchased another ring for us. Now we have a full fledged academy with about 60 boxers. We have started winning medals. We have produced a National youth gold medallist (Ronak Bhupsi), who represented the country in the Asian youth meet and won a bronze medal here and a National bronze medallist (Krushanveer).”
Apart from Ronak (under-21, 81kg), Harsh (under-17, 52kg) secured a silver medal in the Khelo India Games. Amit Kumar (under-21, 69kg) will feature in a gold medal match on Wednesday.
“It’s my dream to produce international medallists and Olympians from Daman and Diu. I believe we can do it,” said Pahal.