Gurbax elated at boxers' show

Coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu termed the performance of the pugilists in recently concluded Doha International tournament “extremely encouraging” and a stepping stone for the World Championships, which will be doubling up as an Olympic qualifying event, in October.

The Indians grabbed four gold, one silver and two bronze medals to take the first place in 12-nation competition at Doha. The event also served as the test event for the World Championships, also scheduled in Doha, from October 5-18.

For India, L Devendro Singh (49kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Manish Kaushik (60kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) won the gold medals, Gaurav Bidhuri (52kg) the silver, while Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Vikas Krishan (75kg) had to be content with bronze medals.

“It was an extremely encouraging and motivating performance by our boxers. It was our third tournament this year after King’s Cup, where we came second and President’s Cup, where we emerged the champions first time ever. From Doha, we have returned with seven medals. I am proud the way our boxers have performed and we are now looking to participate in tougher tournaments before the Word Championships,” Sandhu, who returned with the boxers on Monday morning, told Deccan Herald. 

The performanceof the Indians impressed all and sundry at Doha. So much so, many countries, including Australia, expressed their desire to train with the Indian boxers.
“People were very impressed by our performance in Doha. Australia has offered to come to India next month with some of their top men and women boxers to have combined training. They have also invited us to visit them with our top boxers.

Tunisia was also very keen to train with us, their coaches and officials came to us and we are in talks to arrange a training session in July. Sri Lanka and Qatar, too, have expressed similar desire. It was indeed a class performance by our boxers,” said Sandhu. The coach said their immediate focus was on engaging in training-cum-competitions events and participating in more competitions. “We also need to work on specific areas, especially our combating ability and endurance. We need tougher teams for combined training, may be like Kazakhstan and Russia,” he said.
Sandhu said their main goal this year was the World Championships. “It is not going to be easy with World Championships now becoming the qualifying tournament. Olympics is their dream and we want to take right steps towards this goal.”

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