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Sixteen elite women and men boxers will travel to Italy and France for their overseas training and participation in international competition after the Covid-19 hiatus.

A 28-member contingent, that includes 10 male boxers and six female boxers along with the support staff, will travel for a period of 52 days from October 15 to December 5.

The teams will be training at Assisi, Italy. All the four events (men’s 57 kg, men’s 81 kg, men’s 91 kg, women’s 57 kg) where India are yet to win a quota, will have boxers who will be a part of the travelling contingent.

They will be accompanied by eight coaches and support staff in the men’s team and four coaches and support staff in the women’s team.

Thirteen boxers from the contingent will also participate in the ‘Alexis Vastine’ international boxing tournament to be held in Nantes, France from October 28 to 30, stated the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in a release.

Amit Panghal, Ashish Kumar, Satish Kumar, Simranjit Kaur, Lovlina Borgohain and Pooja Rani from among the contingent have earned quotas for the Tokyo Olympics.

“It is very good that we will be getting a feeling of competition again. I am very excited about this. With 10 months to go before the Olympics, getting to compete against European opponents will be really helpful,” said Lovlina.

Ashish said that this is good preparation as they would be coming up against opponents who they might face at the Olympics.

“It will be very helpful for us to play against competitors from abroad. We were already at camp in Patiala and regained our fitness, going abroad will really help. When we meet new competitors, we will get an idea of our level. It will help us get a better idea of where we stand and what aspects we need to improve on.”

Nine boxers, the highest ever for a single Olympics from India, have so far earned quotas for the Tokyo Games. The World Olympic qualifying event scheduled for next year is the last event for Indian boxers to obtain quotas for the prestigious quadrennial event.

CA Kutappa, chief coach of men’s team, said that the tour would provide the boxers with an opportunity to know where they stand against international competition after all the disruptions that have taken place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“At this time last year, we were at peak competition fitness, participating in the World Championships and were training intensely. Thank the government for sanctioning this,” said Kutappa.

Also Read: ‘Ind-Pak Boxing Tournament a good Idea’

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