It was a routine practice for the Indian boxing team, but the venue was special --- the main ring of the competition. The Indian team is the only one given access to the main stadium for a day; others practised at the venues located in the Delhi University campus.
Eight of the ten-member boxing team arrived at the Talkatora Indoor stadium on Thursday evening. “Being the hosts, we should have a bit of advantage, at least during practice,” said a source close to the team.
Apart from Vijender Singh and Akhil Kumar, who did not turn up, others trained at the venue for two hours. Vijender and Akhil were a little tired and preferred to stay back at the Games Village. National coach G.S. Sandhu monitored the proceedings as the medal hopes toiled hard in the main ring to get the feel of it.
“The training session was good. The boxers have been preparing well.
We did regular exercises, including weights and shadow boxing,” said Sandhu.
The boxers, too, felt happy over getting the feel of the actual venue. “It’s nice to train at the venue where we will fight our bouts.
Hopefully, this will help,” said Dinesh, an important member of the squad. But why only the Indian team has been given access to the main venue? “The main venue is never used for practice. But we wanted to have some bouts in the main ring so that whatever little problems are there with the planks get sorted out before the competition starts,” said a source.
The Indian team on Saturday will practice at the DU campus. The exposure, though brief, should give them some head start over their adversaries.