Indian boxers gearing up for the Olympic qualifiers in China will be training with their counterparts from Australia in Patiala from January 5 to 25 as part of their preparations, national men’s coach CA Kuttappa told PTI on Wednesday.
Australia accepted India’s invitation to train in Patiala with Indian boxers in January ahead of the Olympic qualifiers in China scheduled to be held from February 3 to 14 in Wuhan, China.
“We had invited two-three nations and Australia have confirmed that they would be here from January 5 to 25 for training and sparring. We are expecting that the group will feature those who will be competing in the Olympic qualifiers,” Kuttappa said in New Delhi after returning from the South Asian Games in Nepal where Indian boxers claimed 16 medals – 12 gold, three silver and one bronze.
The Indian team for the Olympic qualifiers will be cast in stone by the end of this month. Two categories are already locked after Amit Panghal (52kg) and Manish Kaushik (63kg) claimed the spots by winning medals at the World Championships in Russia in September-October.
The remaining six weight divisions – 57kg, 69kg, 75kg, 81kg, 91kg, +91kg – will be picked on the basis of trials to held in the last week of December.
“No travelling is being planned because we want to ensure there is no exhaustion before the Qualifiers. Even at the South Asian Games, I told the boys to ensure they should remain injury-free, treat the Games as more of sparring than proper competitions,” he said.
“We encountered some really rough boxers at SAG. They were fighting rashly and hats off to our boxers who handled these guys with calmness and came out unscathed as well,” he added.
Kuttappa said performances of boxers in the ongoing Indian Boxing League are also being closely monitored.
“Manoj (Kumar) has done very well in the league, he is among the ones to watch out,” he said.
Kuttappa revealed that the Sri Lankan team is also keen to be in India for a training camp.
“They have been told to send across their proposal to the federation,” he said.
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