| Mohammed Ali Qamar
New Delhi: Arjuna awardee Mohammed Ali Qamar and four other Indian pugilists have reached the semi-finals of the third Commonwealth amateur boxing championship in Kuala Lumpur.
Besides Ali Qamar (light flyweight) the other semi-finalists are Jitendra Kumar (light heavy), Akhil Kumar (flyweight), V. Johnson (heavy) and Diwakar Prasad (bantamweight), an Indian Amateur Boxing Federation of India press release said on Thursday.
Harpal Singh (super heavyweight) is the only Indian to have crashed out of the tournament so far. Other teams taking part in the competition include England, Australia, Japan, Korea, Uganda and Kenya.
Ali Qamar will not be present at the Arjuna Award presentation function on Friday.
“Such acknowledgement of our efforts is a major motivation for us since this is not a glamourous sport and we don’t have too many fans,” he said.
“I was expecting some appreciation for bringing the first boxing gold to India in Commonwealth Games and I am delighted that it came my way. The numerous hardships on the road to victory make the award all the more sweeter,” said the Calcutta boxer.
“I know how difficult it is to soar high. Boys here train with no modern facilities. Since I play at the national-level I don’t have to bother about coaches or other training facilities but everyone is not so lucky.”
The boxer is now looking forward to the Afro-Asian Games to be held in Hyderabad and the Olympic qualifiers in Philippines in January. (PTI)