New Delhi: The 48th National Boxing Championships started in Delhi today amidst much confusion. There was no press officer and the draw wasn't put up till late in the afternoon. The star attraction at the event is Manipur's Dingko Singh. The 1998 Asian games gold medallist is back in action after a one-year injury layoff, and he isn't too happy with the boxing federation either. Dingko Singh's finest moment was at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand. He came back as a star after getting India its first gold medal in boxing in 16 years. But four years later he has disappeared from the spotlight A wrist injury before the Sydney Olympics in 2000 has kept him out of action for more than a year. The Manipur boxer has finally recovered and looked relaxed before his first round bout at the National Championships. "My game still has speed and endurance and it feels like my game is still there," said Dingko. The 23-year-old, however, had some harsh words for the Indian Boxing Federation who apparently weren't too concerned about his welfare. "I had a fracture and the doctors felt I should get it operated upon. But the federation didn't show any interest, so I just rested. But God helped me and made it okay," Dingko said. And the Federation seemed to show even lesser interest in this show. The Press Liaison officer was no where to be found till after the bouts had begun on the first day of the nationals. "This is being organised by Indian Railways. Sometimes when you start the tournament, there is a small problem. But its not that Railways are a strong body and they are doing a great job," said R S Dalal, Working President of the IABF. Clearly things were not in control. The draw for the first day was put up late, which meant that more than 250 participants had to climb on top of each other to see who they were playing. But on the whole nobody seemed too unhappy. When asked if he felt the arrangements were okay, Jitender Kumar, a silver medallist at the 1998 Commonwealth Games said, "Yes they are fine. We have been put up at Nehru Stadium, Railway Stadium and YMCA and they are all nice places to live in." Mohammad Ali Qamar who is the defending champion in the light flyweight category was one of the winners on the first day. The tournament concludes on February 9.
Topics : Boxing