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Pugilists positive ahead of the Commonwealth test

India reached here on the same day as England and Scotland, on Sunday, for the XXX Energy Drink 5th Commonwealth Boxing Championships to be held from March 12-18.

other Updated: Mar 08, 2010 00:52 IST
Indraneel Das

India reached here on the same day as England and Scotland, on Sunday, for the XXX Energy Drink 5th Commonwealth Boxing Championships to be held from March 12-18.

Though the boxers would have loved to reach and get the feel of the venue a few days ahead of the event, it shouldn’t be a big worry since India have dominated the championships in recent times. On February 19, when the some top pugilists assembled in Delhi for an event, they had said they would have loved to reach the venue a little earlier. “But it’s not a major issue and we are focussed on doing well,” said one of the boxers.

Home advantage or not, the hosts are set to sweep aside all challenges to regain the championship trophy they won in Scotland in 2005.

“We are ready,” was what the boxers have said in unison.

“All the boxers are doing well and we hope to win the championship trophy,” said Melbourne Commonwealth Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar, who will be participating in the 56kg weight cartegory.

The venue — the Talkatora Indoor Stadium — is also ready for the test. Not just the venue but also the logistics, the organising capabilities and the federation’s ability will be tested ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

“The venue is in perfect shape and everything is in place for teams to practice,” said P.K. Muralidharan Raja, the India Boxing Federation secretary, on Sunday.

The Indian team is assembling in a three star hotel in Jangpura near Nizamuddin before shifting to Hotel Ashoka — the team hotel.

The England and the Scotland teams, however, are putting up in five star hotels. “They are paying for their accommodation,” explained Muralidharan Raja.

“This happens to all of us. If we reach a host city four-five days before the start of the competition for acclimatisation, we have to foot our own bills. We have also put up our players in a decent hotel and they will be shifted to the team hotel — Ashoka — within a day or two.”

All the participating nations will reach Delhi by March 10 and the weighing in will be on March 12 just before the event. India’s best performance in the event has been in 2005 where they won four gold, two silver and three bronze.