Coach appointed 50 days ago — Gujarat boxers punch above their weight at National Games
Krishna Thapa joined the Gujarat team as a coach just 50 days back but her boxers have surely punched above their weight at the National Games, securing two medals so far.
Gandhinagar: "Ye sach hai ki Gujarat mein boxing culture bohot kam hai compared to other states (It is a fact that the boxing culture in Gujarat is pretty less compared to some other states of India)," Krishna Thapa, the coach for the host state's boxing team at the ongoing 2022 National Games tells The Bridge.
Thapa, who is a former international boxer herself, joined the Gujarat team as a coach just 50 days back but the her boxers have surely punched above their weight at the National Games in this short timespan.
At the end of the first day of the quarterfinal bouts on Sunday, Gujarat has already secured two medals in the form of Asifali Syed (men's 57kg) and Ruchita Rajput (women's 75kg).
While Syed took down Jharkhand's Jadov Deogam by a 4-1 split decision to confirm the state's first medal in boxing, Rajput was given a walkover after her opponent Sanika Sasane twisted her ankle during their bout.
"It is definitely not the way anyone of us wanted to win a medal, but nothing could be done in such situations. She (Ruchita Rajput) has worked really hard for this," Thapa said.
"As for Asifali, we won the first and third rounds in a convincing manner. The second round was a lot more balanced," she added.
The state also has two more boxers in fray – Minaxi Bhanushali (women's 57kg), Paramjit Kaur (women's 66kg), who are yet to play their quarterfinal bouts.
"We have two more quarterfinals remaining and I am very sure of a good outing for both Minaxi and Paramjit," the coach said.
Krishna Thapa, who hails from Uttarakhand, turned to coaching in 2017 and was a trainer at a state-run academy in Telangana before taking up the role with Gujarat just before the National Games.
"The one thing I have noticed in my short stint with the Gujarat team is that all the boxers are very passionate. They are willing to work hard as per the plans we lay out. They just need a bit of guidance to dominate and then they will dominate the national circuit," Thapa said.
"But, this is not enough. The federation needs to work towards raising awareness and bringing out boxers from the grassroots for Gujarat to rise as a force in boxing. The talent is surely present," she added.