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Boxing: India fighters set to miss Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai

Half of 10-member women’s team is doubtful to compete at the Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai starting May 21 after strict COVID-19 protocols at Army Sports Institute in Pune prevented them from joining the ongoing national camp.

The Boxing Federation of India had planned collective training for the 10-member squad at ASI ahead of the tournament.

However, ASI has allowed boxers to join only in batches. While five, including Mary Kom, had joined already joined up, there are still five fighters remaining.

Sonia Lather (57kg) Simranjit Kaur (60kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) are among those who have joined the camp.

“The remaining five boxers are expected to join the camp next week,” said a boxing coach.

BFI said that strict protocols at ASI have made things tough.

“Boxers are joining the camp in Pune as per COVID-19 protocols of ASI,” Hemanta Kalita, secretary-general of BFI, said.

Asked if it would be too late, Kalita insisted that the boxers will fly to Dubai. “Indian team will participate in the Asian meet in Dubai,” he said without confirming how many will eventually fly.

Last month, several boxers in the women’s camp at Indira Gandhi Sports Complex tested positive for COVID-19 forcing the Sports Authority of India to close down the camp. Initially, BFI wanted to shift the camp to Patiala but later opted for the ASI campus in Pune.