Indian boxers training at Games Village as Olympic boxing venue far

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With the Olympics boxing venue “quite far”, Indian pugilists have decided to train at the facilities available at the Games Village to avoid exertion and the risk posed by COVID-19.

The boxing competition of the Games is scheduled to be held in Sumida ward’s Ryogoku Kokugikan arena, primarily a sumo wrestling venue.

The arena is a little over 20km from Tokyo Bay, where the Games village is situated.

“We have decided to train at the Village only. We went to the designated Games venue on Monday and it is very far. In fact, not just us, several other teams also felt the same and all of us have been training at the Games Village,” a source in the Indian boxing contingent told PTI.

“It is very hot, so the exertion of travelling that far just for training didn’t seem worth it. Also, the COVID fear is there,” the source added.

“The training facilities at the Village are good, there is no issue.”

An unprecedented nine Indian boxers — five men and four women — would be competing at the Games.

The men in fray are world number one Amit Panghal (52kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Chadhary (75kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg).

The women’s challenge comprises six-time world champion and London Olympic bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg).

Of these, only Vikas and Mary Kom have prior experience of competing in the Games.

The boxing competition will get underway from July 24 and Panghal, Vikas and Mary Kom are among the favourites for a medal.

India had not won any boxing medal in the 2016 edition in Rio de Janeiro.

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