The Boxing Federation of India’s plan to resume the national camp for Olympic-bound pugilists in Patiala is expected to materialise in the next couple of days as the “requisite permissions” are “finally coming through”. The BFI wanted to start the camp on June 10 originally but had been waiting to secure permissions from the state government and the Sports Authority of India (SAI). “The camp will be held in Patiala. Permissions are likely coming in the next couple of days and this time it seems, things will work out. By July 1, the boxers can start assembling, followed by quarantine and testing and then resumption of training,” a top federation official told PTI.
“The paperwork is almost done, the logistics are a work in progress,” he added.
The nine boxers, who have qualified for the Tokyo Games are Amit Panghal (52kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Satish Kumar (+91kg), M C May Kom (51kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), and Pooja Rani (75kg).
The BFI will be conducting a joint camp for both the men and women, whose training base has been the national capital since 2017.
All the boxers have been training at their respective homes ever since sporting activities came to a halt in mid-March owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has caused more than 16,000 deaths in India and caused chaos globally.
As per the SAI’s safety protocols for training, boxers have been barred from doing human sparring, told not to access the ring and use their personal equipment for all forms of training to negate the threat of the virus.
They will be offered cover for COVID-19 in their medical insurance, as per the SOP made by the BFI.
The boxers and the federation will also have to sign consent acknowledging the risk of resumption before being allowed back at the SAI centre.
The federation remains optimistic about conducting its national events in the usual window of October-November and has also bagged the hosting rights of the Asian Championships, tentatively planned for December.
In its SOP, the BFI has stated that boxing events in the country, as and when they resume, will be held without spectators at well-ventilated instead of air-conditioned venues where officials above 60 years of age won’t be allowed inside competition arena owing to the coronavirus threat.
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