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Boxers head for Bridgetown

other Updated: Sep 06, 2010 01:41 IST
Shalabh Manocha
Shalabh Manocha
Hindustan Times
indian woman boxers

A confident 10-member women's boxing team left for Bridgetown, Barbados, on Sunday to participate in the sixth AIBA World Women's Boxing Championships.

Chief coach, Anup Kumar, was positive about India's chances in the September 9-19 event in which 306 boxers from 75 countries will be competing. This time, the weight categories have been reduced from 13 to 10.

"We trained hard during the camp in Bhopal and I don't see why India should not be the team to beat," Anup told the Hindustan Times.

Talking about medal hopes, he said, "The girls are good but as far as gold is concerned, we should win in 48 kg and 51kg." The coach expects tough competition from China and Canada.

In 48kg, MC Mary Kom, a four-time world champion, will spearhead India's campaign while L Sarita Devi, another gold medal hope, will battle it out in 51kg.

Mary Kom will be taking part in 48 kg for the first time but neither she nor the coach think it's a problem.

"I used to box in 46kg for all these years but I am confident of performing well in 48kg too," said the 27-year-old Arjuna awardee.

"I don't think the change in weight category is going to be an issue. Mary has done well in the past and I am positive about her chances this time too," said Anup.

India were the champions at home in 2006, winning eight medals, including four gold, but finished fourth in 2008 champioship at Ningbo, China, with a gold, silver and two bronze.