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TOI Exclusive: Indian boxing camp in NIS hit by Covid-19; as many as 12 boxers & 3 coaches down with virus | Boxing News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: India’s leading boxers have been hit by the ongoing third wave of Covid-19. As many as 12 elite men’s boxers, including reigning youth world boxing champion Sachin and 2017 youth boxing national champion Muhammed Etash Khan, have been found infected with the coronavirus at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) National Centre of Excellence (NCoE) in NIS Patiala.
Indian men’s boxing head coach Narendra Rana and coach (coordination) CA Kuttappa, too, are down with the symptoms. This is the second time that Kuttappa, former men’s chief coach, has fallen ill to Covid-19 – he suffered the infection in NIS during the deadly second Delta wave in April last year.
A total of 18 national campers have been diagnosed with Covid-19 at the Boxing Federation of India’s (BFI) national coaching camp for elite men’s boxers in NIS. The camp, which will continue till March 14, has been organised in preparations for the Birmingham CWG and Hangzhou Asian Games.
Among the boxers who have been infected with Covid-19 are Kuldeep Kumar (48kg), Sachin (57kg), Muhammed Etash Khan (60kg), Aman Indora (60kg), Vijay Kumar (60kg), Dalveer Singh Tomar (63.5kg), Ashish Chaudhary (63.5kg), Keisham Johnson Singh (63.5kg), Akash (67kg), Sandeep Kumar (67kg), Nikhil Dubey (75kg) and Sagar (+92kg).
The members of the coaching staff down with the virus include Narendra Rana, CA Kuttappa and assistant coach Suranjoy Singh, while the support staff personnel are masseurs Vijay Kamboj and Pawan Kumar and video analyst Nitin Kumar. Team doctor Karanjeet Singh has also been experiencing symptoms and he, too, looks down with Covid. He remained unavailable for comments.
As many as 63 men boxers across different weight categories and 27 coaching and support staff are part of the camp. A separate national camp for elite women’s boxers is currently underway at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium (IGI) here. The camp has 57 women boxers, including Olympic Games bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain, and 25 coaching and support staff. The two camps are part of the approved annual training calendar by the sports ministry and Sports Authority of India (SAI).
It’s been learnt that all Covid-affected members have been put in isolation at a quarantine facility inside one of the hostels in NIS. As per the state government’s Covid health protocols, the boxers, coaches and support staff personnel will remain under observation for one week and will be RT-PCR tested on the sixth day of their quarantine.
Last year, too, Covid-19 had hit Indian boxing the hardest. A total of 13 boxers and coaches were found to be infected with the virus, including Deepak Kumar (52kg), Etash (57kg), Manjeet Singh (+91kg) and Narendra Kumar (+91kg). Men’s team national coach Jai Sing Patil and Kuttappa, too, were among the infected lot.
To control the spread of the virus, it’s been decided by the authorities to suspend practice sessions involving sparring and contact training at the boxing camp. The camp has four boxers in each weight category.
Alongside the reigning national champions, who represented India at the 2021 World Championships in Serbia’s Belgrade, silver medal winners are also part of the camp. The remaining two names of boxers, in each category, have been selected on the basis of their performances in the trials which took place after the elite national championships in Karnataka’s Bellary in September last year.
The SAI had, on January 10, came up with a press statement, announcing the closure of 67 SAI training centres across the country. “In view of rising cases of Covid-19, the SAI has decided to close the 67 training centres across the country. The decision also comes in the wake of directives issued by various states to suspend sporting activities for the safety of athletes. The STCs will be reopened after review of the situation in due course of time.”

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