Sixteen Indians boxers on Thursday flew off to Antalya, Turkey eyeing medals in the inaugural Women's Youth and Junior World Championships starting April 24. The event will feature 264 boxers from 45 nations. Of these, 113 athletes from 28 countries will battle for the world title in the Junior Championships, while 151 boxers from 17 nations will be vying for glory at the Youth Championships.
S Sarjubala Devi, a gold-medallist at the Youth Women National Boxing Championships last year, will lead the Indian challenge at the Youth Championships along with Minu Basumatary, a silver-medallist at the last year's senior National Championships.
Spearheading the attack at the junior championships would be unbeaten light flyweight Lalenkawli and Punjab's Neeraj Bala, who was awarded the best boxer trophy at the Junior National Championships. The Competition to be held till May 1 will feature teams from Turkey, Russia and Kazakhstan.
Traditionally strong boxing nations like China and England will be fighting for medals only in the youth tournament. The event will also see some nations which are newcomers to women's boxing such as Afghanistan, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina etc.
Inspite of the tough competition, chief coach of the youth team, D Chandralal, is confident of a good showing. "Our training has been really good; we have worked very hard to perfect our technique and will perform very well, I am hopeful of at least five medals, of which two should be gold," he said.
I V Rao, coach-in-charge of the junior women believes this tournament will provide a great opportunity for boxers to make it big at the international arena.
"With the talent that we have and the efforts that we have put in, I am positive of a good result, but a lot depends on the draw," he said.
Youth Women's Team: S Sarjubala Devi (48 KG), Sanasri Brahma (51 KG), Pwilao Basumatary (54 KG), Anjali Machahari (57 KG), Poonam Chahal (60 KG), Minu Basumatary (64 KG), Heena Tokas (69 KG), Alary Bord (75 KG).
Junior Women's Team: Lalenkawli (46 KG), H Chanchan Devi (48 KG), Nikhat Zareen (50 KG), Lalfakzuali (52 KG), Pinki Kachari (54 KG), Neeraj Bala (57 KG), S Marathamma (60 KG), Laxmi Wagh (63 KG).