Upbeat after making a successful comeback from a back injury, Bantamweight boxer Gaurav Bidhuri on Monday is eager to stake his claims for a spot in the Indian squad at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. "In the coming days there will be trials for the Commonwealth Games. I was on rehabilitation (after suffering a back injury) till November and started my practice in January. It won't be tough for me to make a comeback," said the 24-year-old Delhi fighter who caught the boxing fans' attention by grabbing a bronze medal in the 56-kg class at last year s World Championships in Hamburg.
The injury came at a wrong time for the pugilist and forced him to skip the Indian Open held in Delhi in January.
But he sounded confident of the course ahead following the boost in his confidence after raking in a bronze in Germany.
"I got a medal in the World Champions and that was a stepping stone. If I can get a medal at the World Championships, then why not at the Commonwealth Games and the (subsequent) Asian Games (in Jakarta, Indonesia)? That's how I motivate myself," added Bidhuri.
Incidentally, the Delhi fighter is only the fourth Indian boxer to win a world championship medal after Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (201l) and Shiva Thapa (2015).
Indian women s hockey team goalie Savita Punia said the players had worked on fitness and the penalty corner experts on drag-flicks ahead of CWG.
"We have worked on fitness. After daily training session we focus on drag flicking. It s an important year.
This year there is CWG, Asian Games and the World Cup," she explained.
Para athlete Varun Singh Bhati hoped 2020 Olympic Games would be more successful for him after having secured a bronze in the Rio Games two years ago followed by a repeat show in the Para world championships last year in men s high jump.
"I hope that 2020 will be something more. I won the Rio medal in 2016 and secured a bronze in the (Para) World Championship in 2017. The government has been recognising the efforts and now I am in the TOPS Scheme."
"Paralympics is becoming more competitive and after four years (since Rio) it will be more competitive and every individual has to work hard.
"We have competition among Indian high jumpers and more athletes are coming into Paralympics and there is more competition now," said Bhati, who benefited by training in Ukraine before the Rio Games.
(With PTI inputs)