Thursday, October 21, 2010

Asian Games silver, the apex for boxers

GUANGZHOU, CHINA - MARCH 03:    The torch for ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Himalayan News Service
KATHMANDU: Nepali boxing, so far, have only scripted its name in bronze medals at the Asian Games but coach Prachanda Sharma wants to break this stereotype bringing home silver medals from the 16th Asian Games.

“It would be an over ambitious remark to say we can strike a gold medal. Getting realistic, I am expecting silver medals from my players,” Sharma said after a nine-member boxing team — that included six players — left for a 24-day training in Thailand.

Sanju Lama (51kg) and Anuradha Lama (60kg) will represent Nepal in the women’s section — the event included for the first time in Asiad — while Purna Rai (52kg), Dinesh Shrestha (60kg), Ratna Tamang (69kg) and Deepak Maharjan (81kg) will fight in men’s bouts.

According to the coach, the boxers were experienced enough to compete in the international tournaments. “These players are experienced and most importantly they have done well in the closed-camp with good commitment and hard work,” Sharma said.

The Nepali team, which is accompanied by Nepal Boxing Association (NBA) General Secretary Rajeev Shrestha, will train in Ayoddhya before leaving for China. Kiran Karki is the assistant coach.

Sharma is aiming to use the Ayodhya training as a weapon to evaluate his players and ammend on the mistakes.

“Since, we are assured of getting tough bout partners for every individual boxers, this training will help us to analyse and improve on our mistakes. We will try our best to maintain the image we have made in the Asian Games,” he added.

“Thailand has been a small hub for Asian boxers and Nepali players will get opportunities to face opponents from Laos, Vietnam and Jordan during the training session in Ayoddhya,” he said. More than this, we will also get chances to practice with the players of South East Asia and the national players of Thailand. It will certainly boost our confidence,” the coach added.

According to the coach, Dinesh and Deepak are Nepal’s medal prospects apart from the female duo of Sanju and Anuradha, who participated in the Women’s World Boxing Championship in Barbados recently.

“Both the women boxers have gained experiences from the world meet and two editions of Asian Women Boxing Championship in India. Deepak on the other hand has won the historical bronze medal in the 32nd King’s Cup in Thailand in April. And, Dinesh has been quite impressive in both national and international matches. We could certainly expect medals from them.”

Dal Bahadur Rana Magar, Tul Bahadur Thapa, Sushil Pokharel, Manoj Bahadur Shrestha had brought home bronze medals from the 10th Asian Games in Seoul, South Korea in 1986, while Chitra Bahadur Gurung (bronze) was the only Nepali boxer to earn medal for Nepal in the 11th edition of the Games held in Beijing, China in 1990.

The Nepali team will directly leave for Guangzhou from Thailand on November 15 and will start their campaign two days later. Treasurer of National Sports Council Min Krishna Maharjan and members of the NBA bade farewell to the team.

Cash rewards for medallists

KATHMANDU: Nepal Boxing Association (NBA) treasurer Ram Awale and member Deepak Gurung announced cash rewards to the medal winning boxers at the November 12-27 16th Asian Games here on Thursday. Both Awale and Gurung announced Rs 50,000, 25,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively to the gold, silver and bronze medal winners during a farewell programme. In addition, Gurung also announced cash reward of Rs 15,000 each for every bout won by the boxers.

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