Vijender, Akhil lead Indian charge in Commonwealth boxing

Vijender, Akhil lead Indian charge in Commonwealth boxing

Featuring close to 140 boxers from about 20 countries, the tournament, which is a test event for the Commonwealth Games, will be held at the renovated Talkatora Stadium and is the first tournament where boxers will compete in the new weight categories announced last year.

The world number one in the middle weight (75kg) division, Vijender was an automatic pick in the team as he was hardly challenged in the selection trials held on February 13 and 14 in Patiala.

Akhil, a Commonwealth Championships and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, beat off younger rivals in Jitender Kumar and Chhote Lal Yadav to earn his place in the team for the revised bantam weight (56kg) division.
While Jitender is an Asian Championship bronze medallist, Yadav had also impressed with a gold in the South Asian Games in January.

With the International Boxing Association (AIBA) scrapping feather weight (57kg), the upper-limit for bantam weight, which was previously set at 54kg, was increased to 56kg last year. More PTI PM AT AT 02271340

The only surprise in the team was the absence of diminutive former youth world champion and Asian silver medallist Thokchom Nanao Singh, who has been replaced by Amandeep Singh, a gold winner from the South Asian Games.
"Aman beat Nanao in both the trial bouts. Actually, both of them are at par but Aman has the height advantage and it would be crucial in the light fly weight category which has been increased from 48kg to 49kg now," explained national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu.
The 22-year-old Amandeep is also a former national champion.
The rest of the picks are on expected lines with Asian Champion and President's Cup gold medallist Suranjoy Singh getting the selection panel's nod for the fly weight category, the upper limit for which has also been increased from 51kg to 52kg.
Vijender, meanwhile, will have his cousin Balwinder for company in the team after the 18-year-old light welter weight (64kg) gold medallist from the Youth Commonwealth Games proved his worth in the trials.
Asian silver medallist Jai Bhagwan has been picked for the light weight (60kg), while Olympian and World Cup bronze medallist Dinesh Kumar has been been included for the 81kg division.
The Indian Boxing Federation also announced an eight-member team for the China Open AIBA 3 star tournament at to be held from April 3-11. More PTI PM AT AT 02271341

Team for Commonwealth Championship: Suranjoy Singh (52 kgs), Akhil Kumar (56 kgs), Jai Bhagwan (60 kgs), Balwinder Beniwal (64 Kgs), Dilbagh Singh (69 kgs), Vijender Singh (75 kgs), Dinesh Kumar (81 kgs), Manpreet Singh (91 kgs), Paramjit Samota (+91 kgs).
Team for China Open: Nanao Singh (48 kgs), Sunil Kumar (51 kgs), Santhosh Singh (54 kgs), Jitender Kumar (57 kgs), Diwakar Prasad (60 kgs), Manoj Kumar (64 kgs), JS Patil (69 kgs), Kuldeep Singh (75 kgs).

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