New Delhi: Inspired by Mike Tyson and Mohd
Ali, eight Indian junior boxers made quite an impression in
their maiden international assignment, clinching a couple of
gold, a silver and a bronze medal at the 25th Ahmed Comert Cup
in Istanbul, Turkey.
The tournament, which was previously a girls-only event,
opened itself for the boys for the first time and the Indians
made a splash by beating rivals from traditional powerhouses
like Russia and Uzbekistan.
The team, which finished fourth in the overall standings,
landed back in the capital this morning.
The gold medallists for India were Nambala Govardhan
(57kg) and Dheeraj Kumar (52kg), while Surender Kumar Singh
(50kg) settled for silver.
Gurleen Singh (63kg) had to be content with a bronze
after losing in the semifinals.
The quartet of Shyam Kumar (46kg), Arjun Singh (48kg),
Lokesh (60kg) and David Singh (54kg) couldn`t fetch a medal
but gained in experience.
Their coach M S Dhaka, who has been overseeing junior
boxers since 1998, said the boys did exceptionally well
considering that they were heading out of the country for the
first time and were faced with quality competition.
"I told these boys just box well and not worry about
results. They showed tremendous character in not getting
overawed by their more fancied rivals. The medals are actually
a bonus, all I wanted was a good performance which all of them
gave me," he said.
All the boys, in the age group of 15 to 16, draw their
inspiration from the controversial Tyson.
"He might be controversial but then nobody can question
his bowing prowess. He is the kind of boxer one would want to
emulate as far far technique goes," said Govardhan.
Coach Dhaka said international exposure is vital for a
boxer`s growth and hoped that the federation would work
towards bringing tournaments like the Ahmed Comert Cup to
India in near future.
"Participating in international tournaments is important
for the development of a boxer. I hope such an event comes to
India as well," he said.