Olympic medal a tough ask for Indian pugilists

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:04 IST

An Olympic medal at Athens appears a tough ask for the country's four-member boxing contingent.

Olympic medal a tough ask for Indian pugilists

New Delhi:

The exploits of Dingko Singh in the Bangkok Asian Games and Mohammad Ali Qamar's gold medal in the Manchester Commonwealth Games may have made the world take notice of the Indian pugilists, but an Olympic medal at Athens appears a tough ask for the country's four-member boxing contingent. The Indians - Akhil Kumar (51kg), Diwakar Prasad (57kg), Vijender (61kg) and Jitender Kumar (81kg) - have time and again showed that they are no pushovers but it would require them to produce near miracles to corner Olympic glory. Coach confident Though Chief Coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu exuded confidence that the pugilists would peak in terms of form at the mega event, he was quick to add they would need a good amount of luck in terms of draw if they were to entertain dreams of a medal. "All our four boxers are shaping up well. We have our fingers crossed about the outcome but we can surely spring a surprise or two or even go further if we get a favourable draw," Sandhu said. Jitender Kumar and Akhil Kumar booked their berths for the Athens Games during the second qualification tournaments held at Guangzhou, China while Vijender and Diwakar Prasad secured their places getting through the third qualifier held at Karachi. Stage fright The boxers were confidence personified enroute to the finals in the qualifiers but none of the four managed to win the gold and that was attributed to a lack of big stage temperament. But since then the boxers have been working hard in the camp and also got some much needed international exposure against the world's top boxers. Cuba, Russia and USA have been traditional power houses in this combat sports with the Asians making significant inroads in the lower weight categories of late. The Indians have proved themselves to be competitive against their Asian counterparts including Thailand and Kazakhstan in recent years. (PTI)

Topics : Boxing India
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