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Asian Boxing Championships in doubt due to Covid-19

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New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) The extension of lockdown in Delhi till May 3 and a surge in Covid-19 cases have put next month’s Asian Boxing Championships in doubt.

The event, to be held here at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex, is scheduled to begin on May 21 but with rising cases, there are concerns.

“The elite men and women’s boxing tournament is scheduled to start from May 21, but the prevailing situation is so scary that participating countries wouldn’t like to travel to New Delhi, which is one of the hotspots for coronavirus in India,” a Boxing Federation of India (BFI) official told IANS.

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Hemanta Kumar Kalita, the secretary-general of BFI, didn’t respond to calls or text messages from IANS.

The continental competition was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. In March, the AIBA — the world governing body for boxing, announced that India will host the event from May 21 to 31.

More than 30 countries are expected to compete. BFI had also conducted national selection trials in the women’s category.

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Since March, several elite women boxers attending the national camp in New Delhi are either recovering from a bout of Covid-19 or have recovered and are yet to resume training.

Olympic-bound Simranjit Kaur, who has qualified in women’s 60 kg, is one of the prominent boxers to have tested positive for Covid-19 recently.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) too have recently closed the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in New Delhi due to the new wave.

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The men’s boxing squad too has been hit hard due to coronavirus in Patiala’s National Institute of Sports (NIS). Between February and March, more than 15 boxers tested positive for virus and had to undergo treatment.

–IANS

nns/kh/bg

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