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Amit Panghal to make competitive debut in new weight class at Asian Championship

Amit Panghal decided to shift to the new category after 49kg was dropped from the Olympic programme last month by AIBA, amateur boxing’s world governing body.

other sports Updated: Apr 16, 2019 03:29 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Amit Panghal,Asian Championship,New weight class
File image of Amit Panghal.(PTI)

Amit Panghal, who won gold in the 49kg category at last year’s Jakarta Asian Games, will be making his competitive debut in the new weight class of 52kg at the Asian Championship to be held in Bangkok, starting April 19.

Panghal decided to shift to the new category after 49kg was dropped from the Olympic programme last month by AIBA, amateur boxing’s world governing body.

“Compared to 49kg, more power punching is involved in 52kg,” Panghal said. “So, in the last couple of months, to increase my strength, I have included more weight training in my schedule.”

Panghal said that his main target is the World Championship in September, which is also a qualifying event for the Olympics.

“The Asian meet will help me in analyzing my strength and shortcomings in 52kg,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean I am not confident of winning a medal in Bangkok.”

After the AIBA’s reshuffle, where they also reduced the number of categories in men’s boxing in the Olympics from 10 to eight, many of India’s top boxers are shifting up and down the weight divisions. This includes the seasoned Shiva Thapa (60kg) - eyeing his fourth successive medal in the Asian Championship - who will be moving to 63kg after the Bangkok meet.

For chief national coach CA Kuttappa, Asian Championship will be his first major tournament. “We have comparatively a young team and for most of the team members it will be a good opportunity to prove their worth,” said Kuttappa. “The Asian championship is quite competitive in the lower weight divisions and most of the Olympic medals in these divisions come from Asia.”

First Published: Apr 16, 2019 03:10 IST