The poster girl of Assam boxing, Ankushita Boro is eyeing a redemption and will be back to challenge the best as the India Open kicks off at Guwahati, Assam on May 20.
The 18-year-old boxer, who had a dream run back in 2017 at the World Youth Women’s Boxing Championships when she not only won the gold but was adjudged the best boxer of the tournament, is raring to go as she puts in the hard yards at the training camp in New Delhi.
The precocious talent, who has been touted as the future of Indian women’s boxing for quite some time, will be making her senior level debut in the second edition of the India Open. Knowing it well that the challenge will be stiff in 64kg, the young pugilist is unperturbed. She will settle for nothing less than the gold.
“Yes, this is my senior level debut. In 2017, I won the gold in Youth Worlds. This is the first time I have come to the seniors. Will surely strive to give my best performance to get the gold,” said Boro.
However, despite her sizzling run at home in the Youth Worlds in 2017, Boro failed to hit the headlines again for a year. On her lack of results in major tournaments last year, the Assam girl pointed out that her change of weight did not turn out to be as good as she had expected.
“I had changed my weight category to 60kg right after the Youth Worlds which I struggled to adjust to,” added Boro. “The change hampered my performance and then after a lot of discussion with the coaches and backroom training helped me to re-strategize and come back to the 64kg category. This year I have been training in 64kg and can readily feel the difference.”
“I also had my second year exams, so I couldn’t produce good results last year as I couldn’t practise much. But this year I am far more confident and am raring to go,” added the teenage prodigy.
Boro is also excited to perform at home nearly two years after she received a lot of support from the crowd at Guwahati during her golden run at the Youth Worlds and cash awards that were doled by the state government owning to her success.
She is looking forward to playing in front of her own people and giving them moments to remember.
“This time we are six boxers from Assam. We are expecting a lot more support from the home crowd. That will be a very good feeling.”
“Also the India Open gives us an opportunity to go back home after a long time and play in front of my own people,” she said.
Pwilao Basumatary is another of the six Assamese boxers looking to make a mark at the India Open this year. The 26-year-old, who won the India Open gold last year, is once again a strong contender for the 64kg gold.
She is leaving no stone unturned to make a successful defence of her title.
“My aim is to repeat previous edition gold win in my hometown and make my parents and supporters proud. I am raring to go for the second edition of the India Open,” said the 2019 Strandja Open Bronze medallist, Basumatary.