Studded with Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain and two-time Asian champion Pooja Rani Bohra, the Indian boxing team will be eager to put up a solid performance in the World women’s boxing championships starting in Istanbul from Monday.
According to chief coach Bhaskar Bhatt, the 15-day training camp at Istanbul helped the Indian boxers in their preparations for the elite event, which was originally scheduled in December before being postponed due to COVID-19.
“We focused only on technical aspects and understanding of the boxers from other countries. It was important to protect our boxers from getting injured before the main tournament. That’s why we refused when Italy proposed a full sparring session with us. We did not want to go all out at the training stage,” said Bhatt on Sunday.
Bhatt expected some good performances from the boxers, including the experienced ones. “Lovlina is full of confidence. The Olympics medal has provided her a lot of motivation. She is fully fit for the big event.
“Pooja has recovered from her personal loss (the death of her father) and is ready. All boxers are fit and confident,” said Bhatt. Lovlina (70kg), returning to action after the Olympics, will begin her campaign against former World champion Nien-Chin Chen on Monday. Lovlina had beaten the Chinese Taipei boxer in the Tokyo Olympics quarterfinals to secure her bronze medal.
Pooja (81kg) will meet Hungarian Timea Nagy in the pre-quarterfinals.
Two-time National champion Nitu (48kg), who faces the experienced Steluta Duta of Romania, and former World junior champion Nikhat Zareen (52kg), who begins against Mexican Fatima Hererra Alvarez, are some of the names who have the potential to stamp their class at the biggest stage. Shiksha (54kg), Manisha Moun (57kg), Ankushita Boro (66kg) and Nandini (+81kg) got first round byes.