The curious case of boxer Parveen

As was clear during a very recent interaction with this daily, she had been working diligently every day to ensure that she’s ready for the mother of all events in Europe, which is scheduled to be held in July-August.
Boxer Parveen Hooda
Boxer Parveen HoodaPhoto | Express

CHENNAI: There's no question over Parveen Hooda's talent. She has won medals at multiple levels (Worlds, Asian Championships, Asian Games). But there are question marks over her future as she has not had a competitive fight in over 200 days. That is quite telling as she is supposed to lock horns with the best in the business very soon during the Olympics.

Even now, she apparently did not board a flight to Astana for the Elorda Cup. As was clear during a very recent interaction with this daily, she had been working diligently every day to ensure that she's ready for the mother of all events in Europe, which is scheduled to be held in July-August.

However, the last time she had a competitive fight was during the Asian Games, where she had won a bronze medal to secure the all-important quota. That momentous outcome had transpired on October 1, last year.

She was initially included (she was part of a list approved by SAI TOPS Division, dated May 6) in the Indian squad for the Elorda Cup, scheduled to be held from May 12 to 19 in Kazakhstan. But the team, sans Parveen, departed on May 9.

Nikhat Zareen, the other quota winner, is part of the team photo that was posted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI). This is Nikhat's second competitive event after the Asian Games. Nikhat, the double World Championships gold medallist (2022 & 2023), had also taken part in the Strandja Cup in Bulgaria earlier this year (February 1 to 12) along with other quota winners — Preeti (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg). Parveen had given that event a miss as well.

Preeti, in fact, was also part of the U-22 Asian Championships recently, where she had claimed a gold medal. While the likes of Nikhat are getting that much-needed exposure, getting the chance to put their training to practice, Parveen, despite sweating hard during training in Patiala and elsewhere, is missing out on everything.

The 23-year-old was part of the training camp at Budva, Montenegro (Feb 14 to 28) and Turkey (first week of April), where she would have gotten a chance to learn about rivals during sparring sessions. But you can't replicate a competitive-match situation during training sessions.

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