With seasoned campaigners such as M.C.
With seasoned campaigners such as M.C. Mary Kom and Shiva Thapa leading the charge, India will fancy all 10 gold medals up for grabs in the boxing competition that gets under way in the 12th South Asian Games here on Saturday.
India have fielded a star-studded team of seven men and three women — including Olympic, Commonwe-alth and Asian Games medallists — in 10 weight categories. The South Asian Games may not offer much in terms of competition but it is certainly a decent build-up before the Indians head to the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualification tournament in Qian’an, China, from March 23. So far, no Indian boxer has booked an Olympic berth.
The much-celebrated Mary Kom (51kg) will be the cynosure of all eyes in the event.
Another Manipuri boxer who will be keenly watched is L. Sarita Devi (60kg), the Asian Games bronze medallist, who is also on the comeback trail after completing a one-year ban for an emotional meltdown following her semi-final loss in Incheon.
The men’s team features among others, world championships bronze medallist Shiva (56kg), Commonw-ealth Games silver winners L. Devendro Singh (49kg) and Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Asian Championships silver medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg).
India clash with Bangladesh Defending champions India will have their task cut out without ace forward Dangmei Grace when they face Bangladesh in a do-or-die women’s football clash here on Saturday.
The men’s team will also take on Bangladesh in their last four game.