Vijender misses training trip to France due to visa delay

New Delhi: Delay in getting visas has prevented Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh and Dinesh Kumar from joining the Indian boxing team in Bugeat, France for a training trip and the duo will now head straight to the World Championships in Azerbaijan on September 20.

Vijender (75kg) and Dinesh (81kg), an Asian Games silver-medallist, were in New York for the World Police Games last month when the visa applications were processed for the trip to Bugeat.

As they arrived back in India only in the last week of August, the duo`s applications were therefore delayed, which prevented them from travelling with the rest of the World Championship-bound team that headed to France on September 10.

The World Championship, which is the first qualifying event for next year`s London Olympics, is scheduled from September 22 to October 10.

"Our visas got delayed and therefore we are training here only at our home because the camp in Patiala has also broken off as the coaching staff and top team is in France," Vijender said.

"Although we might still get the visas but it would hardly make any sense to travel to France and then to Azerbaijan because the rest of the team will go to Baku from there only," he added.

Indian Boxing Federation Secretary General Brig. P K Muralidharan Raja confirmed that the duo will now go straight to Baku.

"Since they returned late from the World Police Games, they had to first apply for their Azerbaijan Visa. That will be received tomorrow. After that it would be pointless for them to go to Bugeat, which by itself will mean two days of travel," Raja said.

"Hence, Vijender, Dinesh and coach Ramanand who replaces coach CK Kuttappa who is undergoing medical treatment will proceed directly to Baku for the World Championships on 20 September," he added.


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