The Indian boxing team, featuring the likes of MC Mary Kom (51kg) and Amit Panghal (52kg), reached Dubai to compete in the Asian Boxing Championships aboard an “air-bubble” flight, which had to stay mid-air longer than scheduled as administrative paperwork delayed its touchdown. The tournament starts on Monday with the draws lined up for Sunday. It’s the only major competition that the boxers will take part in before the July-August Tokyo Olympics, provided the COVID-19 restrictions in place world wide. The team reached Dubai on Saturday after being held up for over two hours in the flight, of which near to one hour was once mid air, as a result of a delay in the clearance of paperwork which approved the team’s arrival in Dubai.
“There was once some confusion regarding the approval letter for the travel which was once eventually sorted thanks to the intervention of the Indian Embassy in the UAE. The flight took a while to land but the boxers have now reached their hotel,” a source near to the team told PTI.
The Boxing Federation of India issued a commentary, thanking the Indian ambassador to the UAE for his assistance but did not get into details of what caused the delay in the flight’s touchdown.
“Indian contingent has landed in Dubai and reached the hotel. Two rounds of RT-PCR test have been conducted — one at the airport and the other at the hotel. Indian team flew on SpiceJet flight under the air bubble agreement with all essential and applicable permissions,” the commentary read.
“Boxing Federation of India is grateful to the Indian Embassy and Ambassador Mr Pavan Kapoor for his help in ensuring the contingent’s participation at the 2021 ASBC Asian Championships. We are also thankful to the Asian Boxing Confederation and the UAE government,” it added.
The 10-strong women’s team is being led by the redoubtable MC Mary Kom (51kg) along side three other Olympic-bound boxers — Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg).
Two Olympic-bound names lacking from the men’s team are Manish Kaushik (63kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg), either one of whom are currently recovering from COVID-19. A complete of five men have qualified for the Tokyo Games in July-August.
Aside from India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, and Uzbekistan are a number of the prominent countries which will compete at the continental showpiece.
India had delivered its best ever Asian Championship performance in the 2019 edition in Thailand, claiming 13 medals, including two gold, four silver and seven bronze medals.
Topics mentioned in this article