IBF asks boxers to come for Nationals or risk axe from CWG

IBF asks boxers to come for Nationals or risk axe from CWG

Top stars like World Championships bronze medallist Vijender Singh and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar have not competed in the Nationals for quite some time and even this year at least the former's participation is not certain. Vijender on Tuesday hurt his hand while sparring at the camp in Patiala and his participation seems doubtful.

"I hurt my hand during a training session. I will have to get an X-ray and an MRI done on it and if it turns out to be serious, I won't participate," the world number one middle weight pugilist told reporters. "I can't take a risk with my fitness," he added.

Akhil, having recovered from a knee injury, has not yet decided on the weight category for competing. "I will participate because it's mandatory but I have not decided on my weight category for it. I was on rest last month due to a knee problem and it's fine now but I don't want to take another risk with my fitness," he said.

Employed with the All India Police, Akhil competes in the bantam weight 56kg category but having skipped the departmental tournament, he does not have a team to compete from. However, Indian Boxing Federation Secretary General P K Muralidharan Raja said boxers who don't have a team can compete as IBF entries but cannot be fence-sitters as that would make them ineligible for selection in the Commonwealth Games from October 3 to 14.

"Those boxers who can't find a team to compete in can enter as IBF entries. The points and medals they win would be their individual and would not be counted in any team's tally. But they cannot skip, otherwise I have already written to the Sports Ministry that such boxers would be thrown out of the camp," he said.

"It's simple those who skip Nationals will not remain in contention for the Commonwealth Games, only exceptions being the medically unfit like Thockchom Nanao Singh," he added.

Nanao (49kg), a former youth world champion and an Asian Championships silver medallist, is nursing a fractured arm for which he even underwent surgery last month. But the stars who would be seen in the National include, Asian champion and President's Cup gold medallist Suranjoy Singh (52kg), South Asian Games gold medallist Chhote Lal Yadav (56kg) and Commonwealth champions Jai Bhagwan (60kg) and Dinesh Kumar (81kg).