CHENNAI: Indian boxers have been trying to adjust to the new normal — living under prevailing coronavirus pandemic. Currently observing quarantine in Patiala, it’s been a real test of patience for the bunch as they take a step closer to stepping into the ring after coronavirus-enforced break.
Barring a handful, all the core boxers from the national team have landed in Patiala. According to men’s national chief coach CA Kuttappa — who’s also observing quarantine in Patiala, a total of 10 boxers (men) have reached and have been practising some light exercises.
Among absentees, Brijesh Patel (81kg) was due to land on Tuesday while Ashish Kumar (75kg), who has been training in Inspire Institute of Sports (Vijayanagar), is expected to join the batch in three or four days. “We are doing some basic exercises. After three or four days, they are going to test us. As of now, we are hopeful that we can resume training after two weeks. We’ll have a test on 10th or 11th. If our test returns negative then we’ll be allowed to use the NIS facilities,” Kuttappa said.
Confined mostly to their rooms, Kuttappa has been looking to ensure that his wards get some form of activity even under such circumstances. “We have handed them (boxers) instructions and given time slots to each and every boxer, 45 minutes or so during the mornings. They’re doing basic body exercises, shadowboxing for now.
They are doing fine for now. We have put up a punching bag in the ground available here, they take turns to do that.” It has been almost four months since the pugilists have had competitive action. The boxers (both men and women) had last competed at the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifiers where they had secured a record nine Olympic quotas.
But they never got the opportunity to build on that performance as the sport had come to a standstill because of the ongoing health crisis. Any form of travel involves risk, but Kuttappa is far from worried for now. Heavyweights Amit Panghal and Vikas Krishan, who had landed on Sunday, said they have been adapting well and looking forward to training.