India's junior boxers are set to start their season and partake in their first major tournament at the continental championships.
A 10-member team, including nine boxers and a coach, left from here Saturday for the week long ASBC Asian Junior Boxing Championships at Shymkent, Kazakhstan. The event will also serve as a preparatory platform for the AIBA Junior World Championships scheduled to be held at Kiev, Ukraine in August.
The team had been training at the national coaching camp at the SAI centre in Sonepat, Haryana, for the last couple of months.
"This would be the first major tournament and a big test for the selected boxers. This is where we get to see the mental make-up of a boxer and how capable one might prove to be in the long run. The Asian Championships will see strong teams take part and therefore will be a good tournament for the boys. It will also help our boxers to get into a rhythm before the World Junior Boxing Championships later this year," said coach-in-charge Mohinder Singh Dhaka.
Although the pugilists are fairly inexperienced, Dhaka has high expectations from them and believes the team will come good.
"It is a fresh team with very little international experience. But they are a talented lot and have worked very hard to make a place in the national team. I am counting on them to do well."
The squad: Mohammad Wasique (46 kg), Varinder Singh (48 kg), L. Bhimchand Singh (50 kg), Deepak Kumar (52 kg), Thounaojam Bickychand (54 kg), Vishnu Dayanand Chayal (57 kg), Prayag Chauhan (60 kg), Pradeep (63 kg), Aditya Maan (66 kg).
Coach: Vijay Kumar Sharma.