Boxing will play important role in maki…

Boxing will play important role in making India top 10 at Olympics: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju

During a highly motivating and encouraging online video interactive session with India’s elite boxers, India’s Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday acknowledged the efforts by the athletes and said boxing will play a vital role in making India a sporting powerhouse and a top-10 nation in the medal tally at the upcoming Olympic Games.

Rijiju also heaped praise on the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and its President Ajay Singh for the efforts to keep the boxers engaged with online coaching sessions despite the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The online video conference was attended by around 140 elite Indian pugilists along with coaches and officials.

Rijiu also informed that the government is planning to allow elite athletes to resume their training at the earliest in order to keep them ready for future competitions. “I am having discussions with my officers. We are planning out a way to start functioning as soon as possible. I thought first of all we should allow practice for the players who have qualified for the Olympics and who will be participating in the qualifiers or important championships. We can’t open all the coaching centers, so we will allow only for elite athletes. Junior camps have to wait for some time as safety will be priority,” he concluded.

The initiative, which was done for the first time, received a great response and also motivated boxers and the officials. “I would like to thank our Sports Minister for taking the time out from his busy schedule to talk to the boxers. It was quite motivating and morale boosting for everyone. We are all one Team India and we are proud that you are the captain of this team,” BFI President Ajay Singh said.

6-time world champion Mary Kom interacting with the Sports Minister

The minister further interacted with the boxers to know their situation during the lockdown and training schedules. “Whatever we have achieved today, the credit goes to the coaches, the federation and the government. It’s really impressive and motivating to interact with you Sir. If we keep getting support from the government, we will definitely win Olympic medals, World Championship medals,” Asian Games gold medallist Vikas Krishan told Rijiju.

All the top elite boxers, including Mary Kom, Amit Panghal, Pooja Rani, Simranjit Kaur, Lovlina Borgohain, Jamuna Boro, Satish Kumar, Ashish Kumar, Gaurav Chauhan participated in an interaction along with High Performance Director Santiago Nieva, foreign coach Raffaele Bergamasco, head coaches and support staff.