Boxers join race for medals at Athens

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:08 IST

The Athens bound Indian boxing team may be short on experience, but they cannot be counted out of the race for medals.

Boxers join race for medals at Athens

New Delhi:

The Athens bound Indian boxing team may be short on experience, but they cannot be counted out of the race for medals. Not only is the team enthusiastic, in form and raring to go, but they also have proved themselves by winning two medals in the pre-Olympic boxing competition held in May this year. Of the four boxers on their way to Athens, only Jitender Kumar has any previous experience of the Olympics. Gold medalist from the Afro-Asian Games and the Commonwealth champion in his category, Jitender had reached the pre-quarter finals in Sydney. Even though the other three are making their Olympic debuts in Athens, they certainly are not short on confidence. In fact, the two youngest members of the team, flyweight Akhil Kumar and light welterweight Vijender Singh have already proven their worth by bagging a bronze each in a pre-Olympic tournament held at the same venue where the main event at the Games will be held. Greatest assets Chief Coach GS Sandhu believes that the team's high levels of physical fitness and motivation are their greatest assets. The team is also being coached by Cuban IB Fernandez, whose country has traditionally dominated all boxing events at the Olympics, producing champions as Teofilo Stevenson and Felix Savon. The young boxers are not daunted by their youth or lack of experience with Jitender Kumar, the senior-most in the squad, regularly giving the others tips on how to compete at this level. Training stints The team has been through two rigorous training stints, both outside the country and in Patiala. They have worked hard at improving their technique, stamina and strength. Given the fact that they have been in good form for the last year, it would not be unrealistic to expect at least one medal from these pugilists.

Topics : Boxing India
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