Boxing’s elite national camp has been sanctioned with a significant reduction in the number of boxers, given new high performance director Bernard Dunn’s desire to work with a smaller group to build focused training in the run-up to the Paris Olympics.
The camp, which will start from January 20 at NIS Patiala and will continue till March 31, will have 41 male and 36 female boxers. In a busy year with the World Championships and Asian Games – which are also Paris Olympics qualifiers – the Irishman has his sights set on the boxers he wants to prepare for the two big events.
It is learned that Dunn is not keen on holding selection trials for major events and will select his team based on the performance of the boxers in the events leading up to the World Championships. Thus, the Strandja Memorial Tournament in February will be a major stop. The Women’s World Championship will be held in Delhi from March 15, while the Men’s World Championship will be held in Uzbekistan from May 1.
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has agreed to Dunn’s proposal for a smaller group, albeit with reservations. Earlier, all four national championship medalists will be called up resulting in over 50 boxers for the men’s and women’s camps. This time around, four boxers made the cut in only a few weight categories, especially in divisions where a top boxer dropped out of nationals for some reason. Most weight categories have three boxers selected, while in some divisions only gold and silver medalists make it to Nationals.
“He (Dunn) wants to be very focused with not much time left for the World Championships and then the Paris Olympics qualifiers. A further cut in numbers is likely at a later stage,” said a BFI official. .
In the men’s seven Olympic weight categories, 23 boxers made the cut. In 51kg, Commonwealth Games champions Amit Pinghal and Deepak Bhuriya – he was ruled out of the national team due to injury – are joined by new national champion Bishwamitra Chongtham and silver medalist Zoram Moana. Only 18 have been named in the six Olympic divisions for women. CWG champion Neetu Ghanghas, who was ill and could not participate in the state trials, also qualified in 48 kg. She hopes to move up to the Olympic weight category (50kg) which already has world champion Nakhta Zarin.
(tag to translate)Paris Olympics