Boxer Akash Kumar will miss the Strandja International Tournament due to a right shoulder injury

Besides Aakash Kumar, Deepak Bhoria (51kg), Shiva Thapa (63.5kg), Nishant Dev (71kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) are also recovering from injuries. In all these categories, the next available national medallist will go.

World championships bronze medallist Akash Kumar will miss the Strandja International Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria starting on Feb 18 due to a right shoulder injury.

Kumar, the 54kg boxer who was the only Indian to medal at last year’s world championships in October-November, was injured in the tournament and it aggravated. He is undergoing rehabilitation and is expected to regain full fitness soon. Rajpinder Singh, silver medallist in the national championships, will replace him in the team.

The Strandja meet will be the season opener for Indian boxers in a busy year that features the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has decided to send the national champions in both men and women to the competition. The men will compete in 13 categories and women in 12. It is the first meet in the Golden Glove Series, a new World Boxing Tour announced by the International Boxing Association.

The BFI was also scheduled to hold trials this month for the women’s world championships as well as the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. It has been put on hold after both camps last month saw a spate of Omicron positive cases that impacted training for a week.

“We are in the process of taking a call on the selection trials. As far as Asian Games and CWG are concerned, we have asked the Indian Olympic Association when we could send the team names. Accordingly, we will set a date for trials,” a BFI official said.

Besides Aakash Kumar, Deepak Bhoria (51kg), Shiva Thapa (63.5kg), Nishant Dev (71kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) are also recovering from injuries. In all these categories, the next available national medallist will go. The five male boxers who competed at the Tokyo Olympics and were not in the national camp initially have been training in Patiala for three weeks now to regain full fitness.

 

Lovlina Borgohain

The women boxers will also have world championships this year. Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain, who skipped the national championships, is training in Guwahati. She had sought exemption from the camp due to health issues in her family.

Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom, who wants to fight at the world championships, is training at her academy in Manipur. She too is expected to join the national camp. Borgohain and Mary Kom will not be at the Strandja meet but the other Tokyo Olympian Pooja Rani (81kg) will compete.

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