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Commonwealth Games: Boxers Hussamuddin and Manoj Kumar assured of medals

Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg) overpowered Muilenga Everisto of Zambia in a unanimous 5:0 verdict while Manoj Kumar defeated Australia’s Terry Nickolas 4:1 in the 69kg category. Satish Kumar won his bout with a split 4:1 decision in +91kg quarterfinals bout.

other sports Updated: Apr 10, 2018 23:23 IST
B Shrikant
B Shrikant
Gold Coast
2018 Commonwealth Games,Commonwealth Games 2018',Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018
Manoj Kumar has entered the semi-finals of 69kg category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.(Getty Images)

India’s boxing team was in news for the wrong reasons before the start of the Commonwealth Games. Because of the needle controversy, all of them were looked at with suspicion and were reportedly tested for doping. But in focussing on the negative aspect of the controversy, what has gone unnoticed is the progress the Indian boxers have made in recent times. They may return with a rich haul.

The sport, which was considered in India as matter related to brawn, has undergone a sea change in India with the appointment of foreign experts and the Indian boxers have adapted well to not only their techniques but also to new approach that they have brought in with video analysis and sports science.

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This marriage of brain and brawn seems be paying dividends as a number of them have made it to the quarter-finals and are on the verge of getting into medal contention. India are virtually assured of six medals as of now with five male and one female boxers making it to the semis.

Former world champion and Olympic bronze medallist MCMary Kom made the last four in women’s 45-48 kg while Amit Phangal, Hussamuddin Mohammed, Manoj Kumar, Satish Kumar and Naman Tanwar reached the semi-finals. On Tuesday, Amit outscored Aqeel Ahmed of Scotland in the 46-49 kg while Naman used his advantage in height and reach to great effect to swat away Frank Masoe of Samoa in their quarter-final bout.

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“The approach to boxing has undergone a total change. It is no longer only strength, they have to use their mind, technology and sports science. The boxers too have taken to this approach,” said a team official who didn’t want to be quoted as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

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But he did give an insight into the approach.Earlier, it would be difficult to make a boxer understand his mistakes because the language gap between them and the foreign experts. Now they can watch their bouts on video, in slow motion, and understand where they are going wrong.

First Published: Apr 10, 2018 18:26 IST