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Exposure to international tournaments helped young boxers: Qamar

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New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS): National women’s boxing coach Mohammed Ali Qamar on Thursday explained why there has been a rise of Indian pugilists in the last few years.

Qamar, India’s first Commonwealth Games gold medallist in boxing, said that exposure to international tournaments has helped young Indian boxers grow as athletes.

“Now the young boxers are exposed to international tournaments and they are performing well in these events. Many boxers have risen in India in the last few years because of this exposure,” said Qamar.

When asked about the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG), Qamar said the competition is a great platform for upcoming athletes. The third edition of the games will be held from January 10 in Guwahati.

“The Khelo India Youth Games is a great platform. All the athletes, who are U-21 and have not played in nationals, have a chance to showcase their skills in the Khelo India Youth Games. If they perform well in this competition, they will get the chance to compete in the senior circuit,” said the former boxer.

Qamar also said that Indian boxing management is hoping that many Indian pugilists will book their spots at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“We are hoping for many Indian boxers to book their berths in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We have performed well in the World Championships and Asian Championships, so we are hoping for a good performance at the Olympics this year,” said Qamar.

The boxing coach explained how a boxer with potential is spotted in India. Qamar said the management looks at how a young boxer tackles a senior player in competitions such as the nationals.

“We look at how young athletes take on the senior players in a tournament like the nationals. We see the margin of the scoreline and how the young player fared in the bout against a senior boxer. If a young player can tackle well against a senior boxer, then we realise that the youngster has the potential,” Qamar signed off.

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