Connect with us

Sports

After the pause, Indian boxers gear up for busy competitive schedule starting with Strandja Memorial | Boxing News

Published

on

NEW DELHI: Their Olympic preparations back on track after the disruption caused by COVID-19, Indian boxers will be travelling extensively to compete in various European tournaments in the next couple of months starting with the prestigious Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria.
In a conversation with PTI, Indian boxing’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva revealed that apart from an international schedule, he would also like to see the national championships take place some time before the Olympic Games.
“This year, we are starting with the Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria, then hopefully a tournament in Hungary and one more after that. Apart from this, we will be staying put at Bengaluru for the national camp and probably invite some foreign teams if they agree to come,” Nieva said giving a lowdown of the plans for the next six months.
Strandja Memorial is one of the oldest boxing competitions in the European circuit and is widely considered a season-opener. In its 72nd edition this year, it is scheduled to be held from February 21 to 28 in Sofia.
Nine Indian boxers — Amit Panghal (52kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Satish Kumar (+91kg), M C Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), and Pooja Rani (75kg) — have qualified for the Olympics.
Some more may grab Tokyo tickets in the world qualifiers set to be held a month or two before the Games, postponed by a year to the current one owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Games are scheduled in July-August.
Speaking of the pandemic, Nieva said the disruption was expectedly frustrating but the Indians more than made up for the lost time during their two-month-long European sojourn in November-December during which they participated in two competitions as well.
“The SOP for COVID in the Patiala national camp barred sparring, so it was nice to get some sparring after a long break. It was much needed and it has helped us stay competitive and we are good now, back on track.”
After being halted completely because of the pandemic in March last year, the national camp had resumed in August in a controlled environment, open only for the Olympic-bound and Olympic prospects.
However, the boxers were not allowed to access the ring or spar for fear of infection, severely affecting their overall training regimen.
“The boxers needed competition for the sake of motivation and they got two during this Europe trip, it was a huge boost because the disruption had an impact. Not just us, every country has felt a setback and everyone has dealt with it differently,” Nieva elaborated.
The Swede said he wouldn’t mind a national championship before the Olympics as it would give crucial competition to boxers who are not in the camp and are starving for training and competition.
The convention in an Olympic year is to have the nationals after the quadrennial showpiece.
“If it is safe, then I would like to see the national championships soon. Perhaps in a bio-bubble, it would be great to keep boxers motivated because without competition, it is difficult to just go on training.
“I know it won’t be easy to have a bio-bubble given the numbers and scale of it but we can at least give it a thought and check if it is possible. It won’t be a bad idea,” he said.
“The likes of Brazil and China have had their Nationals, we can try too.”
The national championships could not take place last year because of the pandemic.
The boxers are currently in Bellary’s Inspire Institute of Sports, a high performance facility founded by JSW Sports and which has shooting ace Abhinav Bindra and former cricket captain Sourav Ganguly on its advisory board.


Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Paes eyeing French Open comeback in record eighth straight Olympics bid | Tennis News

Published

on

By

KOLKATA: Indian tennis icon Leander Paes on Monday said he is eyeing a French Open comeback this year in his quest to make a record eighth appearance at the Olympics in Tokyo.
Paes, 47, said he skipped the Australian Open as he is apprehensive of playing in a bio-bubble but is looking ahead to the French Open.
“Playing sport in a bio-bubble is very tough and may not be the best thing to do. I got a grand farewell at the Australian Open last year so I felt this year I would be sitting out and watching,” Paes said.
The Olympic bronze medallist in singles and multiple-time doubles Grand Slam winners was speaking during the launch of a cricket tournament named after his father Dr Vece Paes, a bronze winner at the 1972 Olympics.
“I hope that by the time of French Open, by the end of May, Europe will get to a better position than now.”
On the Christmas Day of 2019, Paes had announced his “One Last Roar” tagline, calling 2020 to be his last season as a professional player, culminating with the Tokyo Games that was pushed back by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s my goal to represent India in the eighth successive Olympics. I’m keeping myself in good physical and mental fitness which is not easy being away for 11 months.
“I’ve been practising hard, putting in three hours everyday and I’m in the last 100m sprint of a long career. Tokyo Olympics is important to make sure India remains in the record,” Paes said.
The Dr Vece Paes Cricket Cup will be held between CC&FC and Doctors’ XI at CC&FC on Tuesday.
The doctors of Kolkata wish to make the 75th year of Dr Paes and his achievements a memorable annual event by organising a cricket match which will be played by Paes and former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan.
“I’m very emotional about CC&FC. As a young boy growing up, this very ground where I grew up, learnt leadership, sportsmanship and camaraderie.
“It’s an honour to be your son. I’ve tried to run it and play the game of life as best as I could. I hope I have done you proud,” the tennis great concluded.


Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Olympics would be ‘extremely difficult’ for unvaccinated athletes: France | Tokyo Olympics News

Published

on

By

PARIS: Athletes who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 would face “extremely difficult” conditions at the Tokyo Games this summer, the president of the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) said on Monday.
Unvaccinated athletes who go to the Games in Japan face “quarantine of a fortnight” and “will have to undergo tests in the mornings and evenings,” Denis Masseglia warned.
The issue of vaccination of athletes for the Tokyo Olympics, postponed last year because of the pandemic, is to be discussed Wednesday at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Committee.
The IOC officially encourages the vaccination of athletes but says it cannot impose it.
Masseglia said there was no choice. In a video press conference, he said that “holding the Games is at stake”.
“We are not alone,” he said. “For our Japanese friends to receive athletes and accredited people from all over the world requires some precautions.”
He said that the difficulties they would face could have “a dissuasive effect” for athletes who did not want to be vaccinated.
Masseglia said he spoke to IOC president Thomas Bach last week.
In France, nearly a million priority people have been vaccinated, but the pace of vaccination is extremely varied around the world. Some countries, including Japan, have not started yet.
The issue of vaccination of athletes also raises an ethical problem.
“It’s out of the question that athletes should be given priority over other categories of population, but between now and the Games we can assume that it is possible to have them vaccinated without penalising other people,” Masseglia said.
“I have taken a position in favour of vaccination, I hope that all French athletes will share this perspective,” he added.


Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

AFC cancels, postpones tournaments; India’s schedule also affected | Football News

Published

on

By

KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Monday decided to either cancel or postpone a number of its competitions, also featuring India, keeping in mind the safety of all stakeholders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indian team was to take part in the next AFC U-16 Championships, which was slated to be held in 2021 after being rescheduled twice last year. A total of 16 teams were to play in the tournament.
“In line with FIFA’s decision to cancel the FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cups in 2021 and taking into consideration the safety and health of Asia’s youth players, the AFC has reluctantly decided to cancel the AFC U-16 Championship Bahrain 2020 and the AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020,” the continental football body said in a release.
The AFC said the next editions of both the competitions will be allocated to the same hosts in 2023.
The U-16 tournament was originally scheduled between September 16 and October 3, 2020, and then rescheduled between November 25 and December 12, 2020. It was later announced that the tournament would be postponed to early 2021 due to the pandemic.
AFC general secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “We are grateful for the support of the hosts for these competitions who agreed with the AFC the need to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders during this time of uncertainty and taking into consideration the risks of the current pandemic.”
The AFC also cancelled its Futsal Championship Kuwait 2020 and the AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup Thailand 2021.
Both the Kuwait Football Association and the Football Association of Thailand will host the next editions. Kuwait will stage the AFC Futsal Asian Cup 2022 and Thailand, the AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup 2023.
The AFC has also decided to reschedule the qualifying rounds for the U20 Women’s Asian Cup 2022 and U-17 Women’s Asian Cup 2022.


Source link

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Shares