Indian pugilists hope to end medal drought

Indian pugilists hope to end medal drought

Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh and assistant coach Jaidev Bisht stayed back and would leave on the night of August 29 after receiving the Khel Ratna and the Dronacharya award respectively from the President.

“The World Championships are going to be tougher than the Olympics.
“But this is as strong a team as can be prepared and hopefully it would deliver,” said chief coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu ahead of the team’s departure.

Indian Boxing Federation Secretary General PK Muralidharan Raja said the other motivation for the Indian pugilists would be the presence of World Series of Boxing (WSB) franchisees.

“WSB franchisees will also be there to pick their boxers and hopefully our boys would be able to impress them,” Raja said.

India has never won a medal at the event with the best being quarterfinal appearances by the likes of Olympian AL Lakra, who was the only one to make the last-eight stage in the previous edition of the championships in Chicago a couple of years ago.

“The expectations are going to be sky high after the way Indian boxers have performed in the past two years, especially the Beijing Olympics,” admitted Vijender, who goes into the tournament as world number two.

“The pressure would be there but we can cope with it,” he added.