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Boxing HPD Bernard Dunne resigns after pathetic show in Olympic qualifiers

BFI and SAI have accepted the resignation of Boxing High Performance Director Bernard Dunne after poor show by Indian boxers.

Boxing HPD Bernard Dunne resigns after pathetic show in Olympic qualifiers

Pritish Raj

Published: 14 March 2024 6:54 AM GMT

Delhi: Bernard Dunne, High-performance director of the Indian boxing team, has resigned from his post following a horror show from Indian boxers in the first World qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

None of the nine boxers from India managed to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics, and this was the first time Indian boxers came back from such an event without securing any spots.

Dunne is one of the highest-paid foreign coaches in the Indian sports ecosystem and he was hired in October 2022.

"Bernard sent his resignation from Italy last week and his resignation was accepted yesterday in an online meeting," one of the sources close to the development told The Bridge.

With a review meeting of the Boxing Federation of India scheduled tomorrow, it is expected that the chief coach for elite men's and women's teams Dmitry Dmitruk might face the axe too.

Dunne's stay in Indian boxing was controversial after he decided to get done with the selection trials for the major tournaments and introduced an evaluation process in the national camp, based on parameters like performance in training, technique, weight management, sparring, etc.

The decision was met with stiff resistance from the boxers and coaches alike with many of them challenging the decision in the court.

"I failed to understand what is being exactly evaluated during the process. I think it is important to also evaluate what goes inside the court along with the training and other things," one of the boxers told The Bridge during the last elite women's nationals.

The boxer also underlined the fact that due to only four campers present during the national camp under the new policy, there is a dearth of sparring partners for boxers and they don't get a lot of variety while practicing for the international tournaments.

India has won a total of four quotas in boxing for the upcoming Olympics and all of them came during the Asian Games when women boxers Nikhat Zareen, Preeti, Parveen Hooda, and Lovlina Borgohain booked their Olympics berth.

Indian boxers will have one more chance to win a quota for the upcoming Paris Olympics through the 2nd World Qualifying tournament.

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