India’s elite men and women boxers including Assam’s Lovlina Borgohain will travel to Italy and France for a period of 52 days from October to December for their overseas training and participation in international competition.

The overseas training and exposure have been sanctioned by the central government at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.31 crore.

A 28-member contingent includes 10 male boxers and 6 women boxers along with the support staff.

“Amongst the boxers, who will be participating include Amit Panghal, Ashish Kumar, Satish Kumar, Simranjit Kaur, Lovlina Borgohain and Pooja Rani, all of whom have earned quotas for the Tokyo Olympics,” the Union sports & youth affairs ministry said in a statement.

All the four events (Men’s 57 kg, Men’s 81 kg, Men’s 91 kg, Women’s 57 kg) where India is yet to win a quota, will have boxers, who will be a part of the travelling contingent, it said.

They will be accompanied by 8 coaches and support staff in the men’s team and 4 coaches and support staff in the women’s team, the ministry stated.

Lovlina Borgohain, a women’s 69 kg boxer from Assam, is looking forward to participating in the competition again.

“It is very good that we will be getting a feeling of competition again. I am very excited about this. With 10 months to go before the Olympics, getting to compete against European opponents will be really helpful,” she said.

Meanwhile, boxing champion Mary Kom, who is recovering from a bout of dengue, said she won’t be travelling overseas, including a 52-day training-cum competition trip to Italy and France that begins on October 15.

As advised by the doctor, the 6-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist from Manipur has been on rest but began light training at home from Wednesday as she was feeling well.

The men’s and women’s boxing team will be training at Assisi in Italy for a period of 52 days from October 15 to December 5.

The expenses will include their boarding, lodging, airfare and visa fees.

COVID19 tests of all 28 players and staff will also be covered under this expense.

A total of 13 boxers from the contingent will also participate in the “Alexis Vastine” International Boxing Tournament to be held at Nantes in France from October 28-30.

Nine boxers, the highest ever for a single Olympics from India have earned quotas for the Tokyo Games.

The World Olympic qualifying event scheduled for next year is the last event for Indian boxers to obtain quotas for the Olympics.

CA Kutappa, chief coach, Indian Men’s Boxing Team is happy that the boxers will travel abroad and calls this exposure trip as an opportunity to know where they stand against international competition after all the disruptions that have taken place due to the COVID19 pandemic.

“At this time last year, we were at peak competition fitness, participating in the World Championships and were training intensely. Thank the government for sanctioning this,” Kutappa said.

“The boxers are very happy, they wanted to do something different, they need competition and training. They want to see where they stand compared to the European boxers. This overseas exposure will give a better idea of competition from Europe,” Kutappa added.

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