Dubai: As the coronavirus pandemic rages in India, the Indian Boxing Federation (BFI) is increasingly concerned to send qualified boxers to the Olympics in Dubai for the revamped Asian Boxing Championship this month .
Nine boxers have obtained Olympic quota places for the Tokyo Games which will take place in July-August. The Dubai contest starts on May 21.
Of those quota winners, two – Simranjit Kaur (60 kg women) and Ashish Kumar (75 kg men) – have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and are recovering. While the BFI has ruled out Simranjit’s participation in Dubai, as she will complete a 15-day quarantine a week before the continental event, Kumar could also be questionable.
“Considering the safety of the boxers, we should not send the team because health is more important than participating in an Asian competition,” said a senior IBD official. “Team coaches shouldn’t push boxers. If a boxer tests positive for COVID-19 at the Asian Boxing Championships, that would mean skipping 15 to 20 days of training near the Tokyo Olympics.
The BFI is looking to keep travel to a minimum as in March the Indian team competed in international tournaments in Spain and Turkey. During both events, the elite boxers tested positive for COVID-19 and missed training. Several boxers from Patiala and New Delhi national camp have also tested positive.
BFI team doctor Karanjit Singh said all boxers were being watched.