India to host Asian Boxing Championships in 2020
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI), on Monday, confirmed that India will host the upcoming 2020 Asian Boxing Championships. Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, BFI is confident of hosting the event, scheduled for November-December this year. BFI's Executive Director RK Sacheti asserted that the COVID-19 will not adversely impact the event as the situation will likely be in control. Here is more.
"We were awarded the hosting rights in February after a meeting of Asian Boxing Confederation. The tournament will be held in November-December and the host city will be finalised later. We are all hoping for this to be brought under control by June," Sacheti said.
The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to next year has given a window to BFI for preparation. "The window we have kept for the championship allows us time to plan. The Olympic qualification programme is also likely to resume around November-December, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)," Sacheti stated. He added, "If things can start rolling elsewhere, we can also conduct the championship."
The deadly COVID-19 has derailed the sports community around the world. India's 21-day lockdown is likely to be extended. However, the training of boxers has been started via online tutorials. "They are being looked after as best as we can under the circumstances. They have adjusted quite well to the situation. Coaches are keeping a close eye on their training," Sacheti said.
India last hosted the Men's Asian meet in 1980 in Mumbai, while the Women's event was conducted in 2003 (Hisar). While the Indian men's team has never won the tournament, the women's contingent became champions in 2005. The tournament became a combined event for men and women last year. China grabbed six gold medals in the event, held in Bangkok.
Nine Indian boxers secured their Olympic qualification last month, following a stunning run at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers. These boxers are- Manish Kaushik, Mary Kom, Simranjit Kaur, Lovlina Borgohain, Pooja Rani, Amit Panghal, Vikas Krishan, Ashish Kumar and Satish Kumar.