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India's Olympic boxers to train in Ireland

June 14, 2012 19:47 IST

The Indian boxing scenario has never looked so bright with as many as seven men's pugilists qualifying for the 2012 Olympics, to be held in London next month.

And the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the boxers enter the Games, starting on July 27, in the best shape.

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The men's boxing team will leave for Ireland for a training camp along with 10 other boxers on Friday to continue their preparation for the Olympics.

The camp, being organized by the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, is from June 15 to 30 and will  have boxers from six to seven countries, including the likes of Russia.

The tour will give Indian boxers a chance to spar and train with probable opponents who they might encounter at the London Games.

The Indian squad, comprising 11 boxers (including six Olympic qualified pugilists), four coaches, a physiotherapist and doctor, will leave for the scenic European island on June 15.

The Indian boxing teamVikas Krishnan will miss the camp to complete his college examinations and has been granted permission by the federation for the same.

With Ireland's weather similar to that of London, the trip is basically to help the young squad get acclimatized to the conditions likely to be encountered during the Games.

Chief national coach of the Indian team GS Sandhu said the boxers will get much-needed match practice before the Olympics.

"The joint trainings and sparring sessions in Ireland will be beneficial to our boys in many ways. Competition would be of a friendly nature; therefore, it will help our boxer's release a bit of the pressure.

"And since the weather conditions will be similar to London the tour will also aid us in getting used to the cooler climate. The tour will also help the non-qualified boxers get some good foreign training exposure under their belt," he said.

IABF secretary-general PK Muralidharan Raja stated that the joint training camp will help in India's preparation for the Games.

"This camp is part of the final phase of preparation for the Olympics and the idea is to acclimatize our boxers to the weather conditions and provide them with good exposure that will help them maintain their rhythm and keep match fit," he said.

The team will return to India on July 2 and resume training in Patiala before embarking on their trip to London a week ahead of the Games.

The Indian men's boxers who have qualified for the London Games are: Devendro Singh (49 kg), Shiva Thapa (56 kg), Jai Bhagwan (60 kg), Manoj Kumar (64 kg), Vikas Krishan (69 kg), Vijender Singh (75 kg), Sumit Sangwan (81 kg).

It is a young squad with 18-year-old Thapa being the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics.

Sangwan and Devendro are 19, while Krishan is 20, but all of them have excelled in international competitions in the last year or so and it won't be a surprise if India wins a couple of medals in boxing.

Harish Kotian