India's Olympic-bound boxers will need to wait before resuming training
Top Indian boxers will have to wait for some more time before resuming training. This is after the national federation's plan to restart the camp on June 10 in Patiala has been delayed by at least a week because of administrative issues. The camp, which was expected to restart for both men and women, is yet to get the "requisite clearances". Here's more.
"We are awaiting a response from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on our proposal and they are awaiting a response from the government. The clearance might come in a day or two but we need at least a week to work out the logistics," Boxing Federation of India's Executive Director R K Sacheti told PTI.
The men boxers generally in Patiala, while the women's camp is based in Delhi. However, the decision to combine the two in Patiala from June 10 was taken on May 23 after a video conference was held between top BFI officials, the boxers and national coaches. Besides logistics, the boxers have to be tested for COVID-19.
Nine Indian boxers have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The likes of Amit Panghal (52kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Satish Kumar (+91kg), M C Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) have qualified.
Sacheti said the BFI is hopeful of things moving ahead later this month. "There are logistics that need to be worked out. The boxers have to be brought to Patiala, they have to be tested as well. All these things will need at least a week, so let's see, we are hopeful of things moving ahead in the second half of the month."
Sporting activities in India were halted after the imposition of a lockdown to contain the deadly coronavirus pandemic in March. The home ministry allowed opening of sports complexes and stadia, without spectators, in relaxations announced last month. However, the state governments have the final authority on the matter depending on the COVID-19 situation.
Back in March, the Olympics was postponed by a year by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Athletes, who had qualified for the Olympics, will keep their slots in 2021. Meanwhile, the deadline for qualifying is June 21, 2021.