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Focus on women pugilists

Guwahati, Nov. 12: The Assam Amateur Boxing Association (AABA) has embarked on a mission to produce Laila Alis and Magnificent Marys from Assam to represent India in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

“After Shiva Thapa made us proud by representing the nation in London, we have now set our sights on women’s boxing. We have several girls with potential whom we propose to groom to succeed M.C. Mary Kom and Jenny R.L. Thus, we have requested the Boxing Federation of India to allow us to host the women’s nationals every year and the coaching camps for the national squad in Assam,” said the association’s secretary Hemanta Kalita. Women’s boxing was introduced in the Olympics in three weight groups this year where Mary Kom won a bronze.

The association is going to host the 13th National Senior Women’s Boxing Championship involving over 200 pugilists in the age group of 17 to 34 years at Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi indoor stadium here from November 25 to 29. The meet will be held in 10 weight groups, of which Assam will be represented in nine as “Assam doesn’t have woman pugilist in the above-81kg group”.

“All the leading pugilists of the country will participate because this is the first event in the selection process for the Rio Olympics,” said AABA president K.K. Boro. Assam is expecting at least six medals in the meet. “Altogether 12 of our leading pugilists, including strong medal prospects Jahnavi Gogoi, Failao Basumatary, Minu Basumatary and Bhagyawati Kachari, are in the camp. At least two gold or silver and four bronze are almost confirmed,” said AABA vice president Subhash Basumatary.


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