IBF begins trials to pick Indian team

The World Championship in Azerbaijan is the first Olympic qualifying event and IBF Secretary General P K Muralidharan Raja said the selectors were faced with a tough task.

The bantam weight 56kg division has the experienced Akhil Kumar, a former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, fighting it out for a place in the team against the 19-year-old Shiva Thapa and Chhote Lal Yadav along with his own protege Jitender Kumar.

Another selection dilemma is in the heavy weight 91 kg, where former super heavy weight boxer Paramjeet Samota’s decision to reduce a division has created a threat for Manpreet Singh.

In 64 kg, Asian Games silver-medallist V Santhosh Kumar has to fight it out with Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar. But some categories are more or less decided with Olympic and World Championship bronze-medallist Vijender Singh likely to retain his place in the middle weight 75 kg division.

Dinesh Kumar is the favourite for the light heavyweight 81 kg, while Asian Games gold medallist Vikas Krishan will take the welter weight 69 kg slot.

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