New Delhi, (IANS) The Indian boxing contingent for the Olympics is leaving for London in the early hours Friday to get acclimatised and train for the big event, starting July 27.
L. Devendro Singh (49kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Vijender Singh (75kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg) and five-time women’s world champion MC. Mary Kom (51kg) will all train at the International Olympic Committee centre near London.
“The boxers are in good shape after last month’s training camp in Ireland. As for the final camp in London, the main objective is to get acclimatised and also get the taste of food,” chief coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told IANS on the eve of the team’s departure from here.
Another key reason for going well ahead of the Games, Sandh said, was to get his wards the feel of sparring with other international boxers.
“Most likely, boxers of other countries will also be training there, so our boys could train with them. If that doesn’t happen, then we have already tied up with some clubs in London for sparring partners,” said Sandhu at his team’s send-off ceremony.
Bejing bronze medallist Vijender, who was at the function, said a big positive was that the team would not be looking at him as the sole medal hope this time around.
“There are younger guys in the group to share the burden of expectations with me. So, that takes the load off me. And you can’t really discount Mary Kom, we all know she has a great chance of winning a medal,” said Vijender, who will be competing in his third Olympics in a row.
Mary Kom asserted that her chances will depend on the draw.
“I will try my best, but the draw is crucial. I will put in my effort, the rest is up to God,” she said.
It was announced at the ceremony that boxers will get cash-prize of Rs.51 lakh for an Olympic gold, Rs.21 lakh for silver and Rs.11 lakh for bronze.