Indian boxing’s high performance director Santiago Nieva has highly appreciated Assam boxers in the team India.
Ahead of the 2nd edition of the India Open boxing tournament in Guwahati, Santiago said that Shiva Thapa and Lovlina Borgohain among others have the high chances of winning medals in the forthcoming world championships which will also be the Olympic qualifier.
“Shiva Thapa has done it before by winning medals at any level. Apart from that Lovlina is a world medallist already. She is a very technical boxer and now she is getting the experience. So, definitely she is a medal contender at the world championships,” the Argentina-born Swede coach told The News Mill prior to the India Open.
There are six boxers from Assam in team India. Shiva Thapa (60kg) is the lone member in the men team while in the women’s team, the players are Jamuna Boro (54kg), Pwilao Basumatary (64kg), Ankushita Boro (64kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (75kg) besides Lovlina Borgohain (69kg).
On Ankushita Boro who had won the World Youth Women’s Boxing Championships in 2017 also held in Guwahati, Santiago said that this tournament will be a good test for her.
“Last time, she missed out but this time she is back and it’s going to be a good test for her. I remember her at the youth championship where she was very impressive but at this elite level, there are many good boxers at her weight category. So, it will be an interesting tournament for her,” Santiago added.
Apart from that, the others have also proved themselves at different levels, he said.
On the overall team performance, Santiago said that they are targeting to increase the medal tally but this will be really tough with the presence of some of the best boxers of the world.
“Last year we had three gold medals among the men. We had one all India final. In women we had five gold medals. So, we are expecting to increase the tally. Though there are some good teams, we have also some good boxers and we are expecting some all India finals as well,” Santiago added.