‘Approval has been sought and we are assessing things’
Resumption is done and expansion can now follow, said Indian boxing’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva, revealing that addition of seven more boxers has been proposed at the ongoing national training camp for the Olympic-bound in Patiala.
Nine male boxers and a few of their women counterparts are training at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala, taking the first step towards a restart amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These include world silver-medallist and top Olympic medal hope Amit Panghal.
“We are looking to add seven more boxers, two coaches and a support staff member to this list in the next few weeks. Approval has been sought (from SAI). We are assessing things one month at a time,” Nieva said.
“The boxers who are here are training under the strict health safety protocol given to us and things have been smooth. I can’t give you names but the ones we want included next are second in rankings of their respective categories,” he said.
The camp started in the first week of this month after boxers, willing to take the trip to Patiala were quarantined, tested and then allowed to enter the NIS.
In between, a controversy flared up when the Olympic-bound duo of Vikas Krishan and Satish Kumar “unknowingly” broke the quarantine protocol.
The two have since made Ballari’s Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS) their training base and won’t be coming back, despite getting a SAI go ahead, due to the travelling involved.
“We are currently able to do 70% of the things that we used to do,” Nieva said of the training regimen in Patiala.
Enough for now
“As per the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), we cannot enter the ring or do sparring or pad work. But we can do running, strength training, and lot of (punching) bags. That’s enough for now,” he added.
A boxer not able to access the ring, does it feel weird?
“Not as of now. May be another three-four weeks and it will begin to feel weird but what to do. We have to be patient. Like the rest of the world, we have to adjust and adapt,” Nieva said.
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