News Nation Logo


Rio Olympics 2016: Difficult task ahead for three-member Indian boxing team

The Three-member Indian Boxing Team Will Be Tested, When They Begin Their Olympic Campaign. They Are Aiming To Lift The Gloom That Pervades The Sport Back Home Due To Long-standing Administrative Mess.

PTI | Updated on: 05 Aug 2016, 02:34:21 PM
Shiva Thapa: Source Getty Images

Rio de Jenario:

The three-member Indian boxing team will be tested, when they begin their Olympic campaign. They are aiming to lift the gloom that pervades the sport back home due to  long-standing administrative mess.

 Shiva Thapa (56kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Vikas Krishan (75kg) make for the Indian challenge in the mega-event, a sharp fall from the eight who made it to the 2012 Games in London. Of the three, Vikas is the only one to get a seeding -- 7th -- but none of them managed to secure a first-round bye.

Vikas, a former Asian games gold-medallist and World Championships bronze-medallist, will be up against 18-year-old American Charles Conwell in his opening bout on August 10. Another strong medal hope for the country, Shiva, will square off against sixth seed Robeisy Ram?rez of Cuba on August 9. Ramirez was the flyweight Olympic champion in 2012.

Ramirez and Shiva, who is also a World Championships bronze-medallist, go back a long way as they had faced each other in the 2010 Youth Olympics final in which the Cuban had emerged triumphant. Manoj, a former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, will open his campaign on August 10 against Lithuania's former Youth Olympics gold-medallist Evaldas Petrauskas. Petrauskas had won a lightweight bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics.

Boxing has fetched two bronze medals for India in the Olympics so far. The first came through Vijender Singh (75kg), who is a now a professional star, in 2008. M C Mary Kom (51kg) added the second to the tally in 2012 when women's boxing made its Olympic debut. This time, none of the Indian women boxers could qualify for the Games.

Overall, the fortunes of Indian boxing have been going downhill owing the absence of a national federation. The International Boxing Association's (AIBA) decision to terminate India's national federation has meant that there have been no senior Nationals for the last four years and the pugilists had been starved of foreign exposure. 

The result is that India have only three challengers to show when boxing gets underway at the Riocentro Pavilion 6 in Barra da Tijuca tomorrow. It paints a sorry picture of the sport that was on the rise after Vijender's historic medal in Beijing. No new talent has made the Rio squad this time but it would be difficult to discount the worth of Shiva, Vikas and Manoj who were a part of the London team. 

For all the Latest Sports News News, Olympics News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.

First Published : 05 Aug 2016, 02:23:00 PM