New Delhi: A five-member Indian boxing team, led by five-time world champion Mary Kom and World Championships bronze medallist Vikas Krishan, on Tuesday left the country to participate in the London Boxing International Invitational tournament to be held from November 24-27.
Following India`s exceptional performance against top boxers at the AIBA World Championships last month, in which four Indian boxers sealed Olympic berths, the London tournament will give them another chance to rub shoulders with the best in the world.
The International Invitational event will see 104 boxers from 20 nations covering all continents showcasing their skills. The competition will also allow boxers from around the world a chance to compete at ExCeL, the London 2012 Olympic Boxing venue, for the first time.
Vikas Krishan (69kg), who became the second Indian ever to win a World Championships medal after Vijender Singh, said the London competition will give him an idea of what he can expect at the Olympics next year.
"The 2012 Olympics is going to be my first Olympics and the test event in London will help me prepare mentally and as well as physically, the contest will also help us get familiar with the conditions and the venue," said Vikas, the 2010 Asian Games gold medallist.
Mary Kom also said that this event will be a good exposure for her and will help her get in top shape for the Olympics qualifications.
"This tournament will provide a perfect platform to train ourselves for Asian and World Championships and Olympics. It will help us get use to English environment. We might fight against some of our probable opponents in the upcoming championships and this competition will help us judge them better," she said.
The Squad: MC Mary Kom (women`s 51kg), Pooja Rani (women`s 75kg), Amandeep Singh (men`s 49kg), Vikas Krishan (men`s 69kg), Dinesh Kumar (men`s 81kg).