The Indian boxing contingent, including Olympic bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain, for the women's world championship next month is set to leave for Istanbul in the early hours of Thursday for a 15-day camp ahead of the event to be held in the the same city.
The world event, which was postponed from December last year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled to take place between May 6 to 21 in The Turkish city as per the revised International Boxing Association (IBA) schedule. "We had requested SAI to sanction a 15-day camp ahead of the world championships so that boxers could acclimatise before the event," women's head coach Bhaskar Bhatt told PTI. "The camp in Istanbul will also provide the boxers with the opportunity to train and spar with pugilists participating from other countries," Bhatt added.
The world championship will be the Indian women boxers' first major assignment in a busy year that includes big ticket events such as the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in July-August and the Hangzhou Asian Games in September. It will also be Borgohain's first competitive outing after her podium finish in the 69kg category in Tokyo, which no longer exists in either the International Boxing Association (IBA) events or the Olympics.
Talking about the Assam star, Bhatt said the 24-year-old, who will compete in 70kg category at the world championships, is mentally preparing to shift her weight class to 75kg for the Paris Olympics. "The kind of body structure and reach that she has, going up a weight category to 75kg will cause her no harm. It will benefit her only. "She is mentally preparing for the new weight categories. We have a busy year this year. Next year we will begin with the preparation for the Olympics," Bhatt added.
Other boxers who will compete at the Istanbul event include the experienced Saweety Boora (75kg), who won a world silver medal in 2014, Nikhat Zareen (52kg) and two-time Asian gold-medallist Pooja Rani (81kg) among others. Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom will be missing in action as the veteran boxer had withdrawn from the world championship as well as the Asian Games to focus on the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Indian Team for women's world championship
Nitu (48kg), Anamika (50kg), Nikhat Zareen (52kg), Shiksha (54kg), Manisha (57kg), Jaismine (60kg), Parveen (63.5kg), Ankushita Boro (66kg), Lovlina Borgohain (70kg), Saweety Boora (75kg), Pooja Rani (81kg), and Nandini (+81kg).