Beijing-bound pugilists slug it out at NIS

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Patiala, Jul 10: Five Beijing-bound pugilists, namely Jitendra (51 kg), Akhil Kumar (54 kg), A L Lakra (57 kg), Vijender (75 kg) and Dinesh Kumar (81 kg) are undergoing intensive training in the national boxing camp at the NIS here.

The camp for 33 boxers got underway on June 30 under the supervision of seven national boxing coaches, including Cuban boxing expert, B I Fernandes, and physio Heath Matthews from South Africa.The five pugilists returned home from Germany after giving a good account of themselves in the Chemai Cup in Halle, Germany, last month. They are looking in very good shape, and it will be no wonder if they win a medal or two in Beijing Olympics which kick off on August 8.

Five boxers from Sri Lanka ---A Ratnayaka, T Dakshilata, N S P Silva, B Gunathila, P A I Rajpksha ---are also training here at the NIS along with the Indian pugilists.

Ratnayaka qualified for Beijing Olympics during the World Boxing Championship in Chicago last year.

Talking to UNI, Heath Matthews said that the Indian boxers require a much better diet and training facilities to excel in mega events like the Olympics or the World Cup.

Both the Cuban coach Fernandes and chief national boxing coach, Gurbax Singh Sandhu, who are working very hard in the camp, are very optimistic about the five boxers who stand a good chance to figure in the medal tally in Beijing Olympics.


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