With the news of Vijender Singh going professional and forsaking the Olympic Games, Sports Rediscovered takes a look at the Olympic qualifying prospects of our other top Indian boxers.
The first half of 2015 is over and many athletes have secured qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics. In the second-half and early in 2016, Indian boxers will be stepping up to claim their spot on the center-stage of world sports. Hopefully, all administrative hurdles should be cleared in time and the boxers will be able to focus on the job at hand with certainty of participation. This edition of ‘Road To Rio Olympics’ focuses on India’s chances of qualification for the Rio Olympics in the super-star sport of Boxing.
For the men who exhibited their class at the recently concluded Doha International Boxing Tournament, the AIBA World Boxing Championship in Doha from 5-18 October will be their first chance to secure qualification.
The women will get their shot later at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan from 1-14 February, 2016. The last chance for qualification for the Indian pugilists would be at AIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament and AIBA Continental Olympic Qualifiers in 2016.
Vijender Singh – What India will miss
Vijender got in the fray at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and returned home a winner – the first Indian boxer to win an Olympic Medal.
The color of that medal needs to be improved and even though Vijender Singh will not be around to lead the men’s contingent, we have a worthy replacement in Vikas Krishnan.
Gaurav Bidhuri’s recent exploits at the World Series Boxing for his team Italia Thunders have proven that the young Delhi lad can take on boxers from any part of the world. He has numerous national and international titles The young pugilist is one of the most probable names that will represent India at Rio Olympics in 2016. Read More: Devendro, Bidhuri Awarded World Series Boxing Contracts.
Laishram Devendro Singh
At his first appearance at the Olympics in London in 2012, Devendro lit the arena with his unconventional style and quick punching. His performance was commendable. Devendro made it to the quarter-finals where he went down fighting to the defending champion Paddy Barnes of Ireland. His preparations for Olympic Qualifications are going as expected and he won a gold at the recently concluded Doha International Boxing Championship.
The Contenders – Women
Indian boxing’s poster girl Mary Kom has resumed her training after her family break. The other half of Indian women’s boxing, Laishram Sarita Devi is also raring to go. Young and upcoming Sarjubala Shamjetsabam is also expected to make it to Rio after she won a silver at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in Jeju in 2014.
MC Mary Kom
Mary Kom is an inspiration to millions of Indian girls. Over the years, Magnificent Mary has won almost every competition she has taken part in. With the introduction of women’s boxing for the first time in the Olympics, Mary has set her eyes on the priceless Olympic Gold. If the word of boxing experts around the world is anything to go by, expect Mary to retire in style by finishing the job. Read More: Mary Kom To Retire After Rio Olympics
Laishram Sarita Devi
Sarita’s critics claim she got into the limelight with her protest at the Asian Games 2014 but her fans believe that her protest was much needed. Whatever the case may have been, Sarita was banned for an year by AIBA but thankfully, her ban ends in August this year, giving her the chance to have the last laugh at Rio Olympics 2016. A bitterly hurt Sarita’s determination to prove herself will surely amplify her performance and fans can expect Sarita to bring home an Olympic Medal.
Indian women’s boxing’s newest star is Sarjubala Devi. She told Sports Rediscovered in an interview that it is her biggest dream to qualify for the Olympics. At her very first senior world championship, she won a silver in Jeju. It should be enough to prove that with the World Championships as the qualifying event for Olympics, Sarjubala would be one of the most certain ones to make an entry in the ring at Rio de Janeiro.