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Aussie boxers want exchange programme with us: Sandhu

Gurbax Singh Sandhu

New Delhi:  The Indian boxers’ superlative show in the just-concluded Doha International Tournament was not without its flaws, says national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu but it was awe-inspiring enough for the Australian contingent to request an exchange programme with the country’s pugilists.

The Indians notched up four gold, one silver and two bronze medals to finish on top in the tournament, which was a test event for the October World Championships — an Olympic qualifying event.

Commonwealth Games medallist L Devendro Singh (49kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Manish Kaushik (60kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) won the gold medals.

The silver medal went to Gaurav Bidhuri (52kg), while Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Vikas Krishan (75kg) settled for bronze medals in the 12-team competition.

“It was a very good overall performance but there were some flaws, like I noticed that some of the boxers were tiring out sooner than expected. It was because we have not had too many international competitions in recent past,” Sandhu told PTI in an interview after the team returned to the country this morning.

“However, none of the flaws are beyond correction and they will be worked upon in the camp. The Australians were so impressed by us that they have requested that they be allowed to train in India for sometime and in turn they want to invite us over there for training-cum-competition,” he revealed.

Sandhu said the team’s performance could have been a shade better had it got enough exposure and the plan now is to seek out as many tough tournaments as possible before the World Championships.

“We need to be competing more often and that too against tough teams. The size of the draw should be big so that the boxers are tested well. This will enhance our boxers’ endurance,” Sandhu explained.

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