India’s team arrived in Turkey today to begin their preparations for the Women’s World Championships that starts May 6. The Indian boxing contingent includes Olympic bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain. They will have a 15-day training camp in Istanbul to prepare for the event.
“We had requested SAI (Sports Authority of India) to sanction a 15-day camp ahead of the world championships so that boxers could acclimatise before the event,” women’s head coach Bhaskar Bhatt told Press Trust of India (PTI).
“The camp in Istanbul will also provide the boxers with the opportunity to train and spar with pugilists participating from other countries,” Bhatt added.
The world championships will be the Indian women boxers’ first major competition in a busy year that includes the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July-August and the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September.
According to PTI, this will also be Borgohain’s first competitive event since winning her silver medal at Tokyo in the 69 kg category, a weight category that no longer exists in either the International Boxing Association (IBA) events or the Olympic Games.
The 24-year-old Borgohain will now compete in the 70kg category at the world championships, and aim to shift her weight to the 75kg category for Paris 2024.
“The kind of body structure and reach that she has, going up a weight category to 75kg will cause her no harm. It will benefit her only,” said Bhatt.
“She is mentally preparing for the new weight categories. We have a busy year this year. Next year we will begin with the preparation for the Olympics,” the head coach told PTI.
Other Indian boxers who will compete at the Women’s World Championships include the experienced Saweety Boora (75kg), who won a world silver medal in 2014, Nikhat Zareen (52kg), and two-time Asian gold-medallist Pooja Rani (81kg).
Six-time world champion M.C. Mary Kom has withdrawn from the world championships as well as the Asian Games, so that she can focus on competing in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.