Indian team leaves for Belgrade to participate in World Championships

The Indian Men’s Boxing team left for Belgrade on Wednesday to compete in World Championships that will start on October 24th, 2021.

The Indian players like Deepak Kumar(51 Kg), Shiva Thapa(63.5 Kg), and Sanjeet (92 Kg) are part of 13 strong squads and out of the lot only Thapa has prior experience of playing in the World Championship in 2015.

On the whole tour of Belgrade, these boxers were accompanied by rejigged support staff led by High-Performance Director Santiago Nieva and newly appointed Head Coach Narender Rana. It will be the last assignment for Nieva whose contract will not be further extended by the Boxing Federation of India(BFI) after the Indian Men’s dismal performance in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics.

It will also be the first competitive game for national boxers after Olympics 2020 and the players who are visiting Belgrade have got 10 days of practice camp so that they can gear up properly for the marquee event.

“The five men who competed in Tokyo, including last world championships silver-medallist Amit Panghal (51kg), could not make the squad after skipping the national championship owing to niggles and “lack of preparation time.” A statement was released by the national federation.

The revised weight divisions for Men has been increased from 10 to 13 and the weight categories are 48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 63.5kg, 67kg, 71kg, 75kg, 80kg, 86kg, 92kg, and +92kg.

“We have a really good team. And I believe all of us are going to do well. It is my third world championship and it would be memorable if I win a medal,” Thapa told PTI.

The AIBA has decided to introduce commemorative belts and white gloves, instead of the traditional red and blue, during the tournament, calling the move a symbol of “fresh start” in the controversy-marred sport.