Indian boxers set for International tourney in Kazakhstan
New Delhi: Commonwealth champion Dinesh Kumar (81kg) and Olympian Jitender Kumar (54kg) will be India`s best bets for a medal at the XIV Elite International Boxing Tournament starting tomorrow in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The six-member team also includes South Asian Games gold medallist Chhote Lal Yadav (57kg) and another Commonwealth champion Jai Bhagwan (60kg).
The tournament is part of the boxers` continuing build-up for this year`s Commonwealth Games in October.
"The more competitions we participate in before the Commonwealth Games, the better it would be for us. It`s a tournament which is expected to draw some good boxers from the Asian region at least and hopefully we would be able to come back with lots of medals," said Dinesh.
The team also features Sunil Kumar (51kg), who clinched a silver at the AIBA 3 Star Ranking Tournament in the fly weight division.
Chhote Lal had settled for a bronze in that event and he hopes to do better at the coming tournament to bring himself in the reckoning for the Commonwealth Games.
"It`s a good opportunity for me to make a name for myself before the Commonwealth Games because in my weight category, the competition for a place in the team is very stiff," said the 25-year-old, who has to contend with competition from the likes of Commonwealth Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar.
"Added incentive of this tournament is the prize money that every medallist will get. I have no clue how much it is but still it feels nice to get a cheque with the medal," added Jai.
Coach Shiv Singh said the Indians stand a good chance at the event but they will be up against some tough rivals.
"No tournament is big or small. On his day, any boxer is dangerous but I am confident that my boys will do well," he said.