Two boxers from Northeast India will be seen representing India against the pugilists from more than 36 countries during the week-long AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championship, starting in Guwahati on November 19.
Assam girl Ankushita Boro (64kg) and Vanlalhriapuii (60kg) from Mizoram are the part of the strong 10 member team which was announced on Friday.
Besides, six others are from Haryana — Neetu (48kg), Jyoti (51kg), Sakshi (54kg), Shashi Chopra (57kg), Anupama (81kg) and Neha Yadav (81kg +), Astha Pahwa (69kg) from Uttar Pradesh, Niharika Gonella (75kg) from Hyderabad have been shortlisted after extensive training and a number of exposure trips.
“This is a fine line-up. Each of them is in tremendous shape and we are confident that they will bring in a number of medals,” India’s coach Bergemasco Raffaele said.
All eyes will be on Sakshi, 2015 World Junior Champion, Guwahati’s Ankushita Boro, who is fresh from winning silver medals at the Balkan Youth International Boxing Championship in Bulgaria and the Ahmet Comert Championship in Istanbul, 2015 Junior World Championship silver medalist Niharika and National Champion Vanlalhriapuii.
The local favourite Ankushita is positive of putting up a good show as she takes on the world’s best in her own backyard.
“I feel this is a huge opportunity for all of us as the World Championship is being conducted in India and will give us an upper hand when we fight our opponents in front of our home crowd. Personally, I will feel no pressure facing anyone as I believe in my capabilities and will look to punch my way through to the finals of the tournament,” the local star, Ankushita exuded confidence.
The squad has been practicing in Guwahati along with the other international teams who have also arrived to adjust to the conditions.
All pugilists fresh from their medal-winning exploits in various tournaments from all around the world will face a new challenge and will be considering themselves lucky as they fight in front of a vociferous home crowd cheering them on.
Around 200 boxers (16-17 years) from 36 countries will take part in the first major AIBA tournament in India after 2006.
As many as 176 bouts in 10 different weight categories are on the cards, with 40 medals (10 Gold, 10 Silver, 20 Bronze) on the line. The boxers can also hope to book a few quota berths for the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.