Suranjoy spearheads Indian boxing challenge

Updated: Jul 12, 2011, 14:29 PM IST

New Delhi: They were the stars of India`s campaign in the previous edition and led by the effervescent Suranjoy Singh, the country`s boxers today took off for Brazilian capital Rio de Janeiro aiming to dominate the ring yet again at the World Military Games starting Sunday.

With a gold and four bronze medals in the fourth edition of the Games held in Hyderabad in 2007, the boxers accounted for half of India`s 10-medal haul the last time.

And with Indian boxing on an all-time high, the 10-member team that left today is aiming to pack a heavier punch and fetch more medals in an event which is set to feature 100 countries in 24 sporting disciplines.

Suranjoy, who won seven back-to-back international gold medals before his streak ended with a bronze in the Guangzhou Asian Games, would be competing in his first major event since November last year.

"The body feels great now as this break has healed the niggles and even though I am competing in these Games for the first time, I am confident about doing well. I have no idea what the competition would be like but I know that the draw would be Olympic-size because these Games are growing," the fly weight 52kg boxer, who went for a training-cum-competition trip to Cuba in May, told reporters.

"A big challenge would be to get acclimatised after landing in Rio but since we are going there a few days in advance, I hope it doesn`t make much of a difference to our performance," the Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, nicknamed `Chhota Tyson` by his peers, added.

P Narjit Singh was the boxing gold medallist for India at the last edition of the Games when he fetched the top honours in the bantamweight category.

PTI