GUWAHATI ‘The ring is waiting for its next legend’. This was one of the numerous placards (this particular one had MC Mary Kom’s face) on display here at the the ongoing AIBA Women’s Youth World Ch am pionships. When it was first announced that India had been handed the hosting rights, setting up the ring and putting together other details necessary to host an event of this magnitude on short notice, was always going to be a tall order.
The fact that this was also going to be India’s first boxing international event since 2010 meant it would be closely monitored by everyone including the International Boxing Association (AIBA). With first-rate venue (Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium), training centre (SAI complex) and plenty of engaging action, the entire proceedings have been top drawer so far. Like any big event, several parties have been actively involved in it.
The federation (BFI), Assam state government, the central government and the AIBA are some of the main players. Debojo Maharshi, Local Organising Committee CEO, has been on his toes making sure that everything is in order. “Things have been fine so far. But it is not over yet, I hope we can finish on a high. All is well, that ends well,” Maharshi remarked. Maharshi, who is also the chairman of marketing commission of BFI, gave an account of how things have been for the parties looking into the event ever since the idea was floated in February earlier this year during the AIBA Commission meeting in New Delhi. The ring and the equipment (gloves, headgear, guard) were obtained from abroad. A total of 1000 helping hands/minds (including volunteers) are involved in this event. Around 300 security personnel are manning the teams.
“We just had six, seven months. The state government also didn’t have much time and they have their own set of procedures,” he said, indicating that a lot of coordination was required. He revealed that the entire cost of infrastructure was borne by the government but there were other obstacles, like luring sponsors. “We (BFI) started a year ago and there was no cash in our treasury. So the most important thing was to generate some sponsorship.
We have been able to do that but not as early as we would have liked to. If you have the sponsors in place, it becomes much easier.” Wisdom attained, Maharashi is confident that future events will be much more polished. “We are looking forward to hosting the World Championships (2018 for women and 2021 for men). Those are big events and we have a team in place. We have some time for that. We will start preparations right after this event.” The ring has seen many promising boxers. It remains to be seen if they follow the path of legends.
Results (semis): 46-48 kg: Nitu (IND) bt Yuan Nie (CHN) 4-1; 54 kg: Sakshi (IND) bt Sena Irie (JPN) ABD (Irie quit on R3); 81 kg: Anastasiia Rybak (RUS) bt Anupama (IND) 5-0. email@example.com