CHENNAI: India’s boxers were one of the first sportspersons from the country to restart training post the pandemic break. However, Manish Kaushik was forced to wait as he was nursing an injury then.
Having completed a rehabilitation process for a bicep injury, Kaushik is currently training in the Army Sports Institute in Pune and is eager to join the camp next month.
“I’m doing well now. I have been in ASI since the lockdown relaxations began. Now, I hope to join the camp next month,” Kaushik told this daily.
Kaushik had suffered the injury during the crucial Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifiers in Amman earlier this year. In a bout where an Olympic quota was on the line, the 2019 World Championship bronze medallist suffered a blow to his right bicep in the very first round.
Despite swelling, accompanied by pain, the Haryana boxer displayed courage to win the contest on a split decision, thus earning himself a quota.
It was clear that the Army man needed a break to recuperate after that fierce battle. And then the pandemic hit, forcing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the Olympics to 2021. The Arjuna awardee considers that development a blessing in disguise. “
If the Olympics had gone on as per original plan, I would have been in trouble,” he said.
During lockdown, Kaushik focussed on keeping his weight in check. That apart, he also did homework on his rivals, checking their videos. But things did not go as per plan as he had aggravated his injury. Needless to say, he could not be part of the camp in Patiala.
That’s when he sought help from an expert in Mumbai, with the support of Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) and Boxing Federation of India (BFI).
Kaushik revealed that OGQ had provided a physio to help him with his recovery and the BFI assigned a coach, also from the Army, to monitor his progress.
“There’s some time left for the Olympics. I want to work and give my best then. We have had many who have qualified for the Olympics but only two medals in boxing. So, I’m eager to win a medal.”
The 24-year-old’s immediate focus for now is to add strength to his muscle. “It has not been long since I moved up from 60 kg to 63 kg category, so it is vital to work on that.”
The next big event for Indian boxers is the Asian Boxing Championships, an event that was postponed to 2021. Kaushik wants to hold discussions with chief coach and high performance director and develop his game further.
“I can’t say for sure what I want to do in the days to come. I have to sit with the coaches, assess my position and draw plans accordingly.”