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Guwahati: After a good show at the Asian Boxing Championships in Thailand, Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is aiming high from the 2nd edition of India Open Boxing tournament which starts from May 20 in Guwahati. BFI executive director RK Sacheti said that they are also sending the Indian pugilists for special training programme in Europe after the competition. “Our coaches – Santiago Nieva and Raffaele Bergamasco – have been doing fantastic work and they are working hard. Apart from the training, we are getting good competitions which help the players to assess themselves. Right now our main focus is the India Open where we have four teams,” Sacheti told The Bridge. Also Read: Assam govt ready to take India Open to next level The Indian boxers won 13 medals at the tournament in Bangkok — two gold, four silver and seven bronze — with men accounting for seven and women six. Among the prominent winners were Asian Games champion Amit Panghal (52kg), who defeated Olympic gold and bronze medallists and Pooja Rani (81 kg), who claimed the gold with a win over current world champion Wang Lina. Nikhat Zareen (51kg) and Kavinder Bisht (56 kg) also overcame world champions. Sacheti said that following this, they will focus on the World Championships. “Our team is going to Italy and then Ireland for combined training programme. Apart from that, we have also an event in Romania before the World Championships. So, that way, we are moving ahead,” he added. https://twitter.com/BFI_official/status/1129606149169242112 The 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships will be held in Yekaterinburg, Russia from September 7 to September 21.
Sacheti is also hopeful that the boxing will be part of the Tokyo Olympics.“If you can recall, the IOC president in Sydney has already mentioned that boxing will be there. Only what they are looking is the management part for which the IOC will decide on May 22 in the executive board meeting. But he has clearly said that the boxing will be there. So, we are hopeful that boxing is happening in Tokyo 2020,” Sacheti added. Relations between the IOC and AIBA were hit hard at the Rio Olympics when 36 officials and referees were suspended amid allegations of bout-fixing. BFI treasurer and Assam Boxing Association (ABA) Hemanta Kalita said that they hopeful of Indian boxers to do well in front of the home crowd. “We have a fantastic crowd. During the last championships, we got great support from the crowd. This time too, I think the Indian pugilists will get the home crowd behind them. This is obviously an advantage,” Kalita told The Bridge. He said that the Indian boxing is heading towards the right direction targeting the Olympics.