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Indian junior girls' coach advocates for extended training camps with international boxers

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Rohtak , Apr 2 ( PTI) Month-long exposure camps with international pugilists will greatly benefit the development of boxing in India, especially at the age-group level, feels national junior girls' boxing coach Geeta Chanu.

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Chanu noted that the reason countries like Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are among the top boxing nations is the close cooperation between the respective boards of these Central Asian nations.

"Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have good endurance they are also high on strength but where they really score over others is there confidence," Chanu told PTI.

"Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan conduct combined training and competitions across various age groups, at least three such combined training or competitions in a year. Hence from a very young age they get a lot of international exposure.

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"Our players face international boxers only in multi-national tournaments," she added.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) conducted a 15-day REC Combined Multinational Training Camp for junior boys and girls at the Sports Authority of India's National Boxing Academy here.

At the camp that ended on Tuesday, Indian boxers got to rub shoulders with pugilists from boxing powerhouses Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan besides Sri Lanka.

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Chanu welcomed BFI's move to host a multinational camp for the age-group level Indian teams but insisted that the duration of such camps should be longer.

"We need even longer camps. A 30-day camp would yield more results. In 15 days not everything can be covered so we want that a longer camp should be there," she said.

Junior World Championship gold and silver medallists Payal and Amisha Kerketta echoed the same sentiment.

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"This camp was very useful as our shortcomings were identified and a lot of work on rectifying them was done. It would have been great had it been a longer camp," Payal said.

"At the continental as well as World Championships we face a lot of Uzbek and Kazakh boxers so it was good to observe them close up and spar with them at this camp," Amisha added.

"We wish more such camps are conducted for longer durations like 45 days or a month so that we can learn much more." The camp, which is a part of SAI's new Khelo India Rising Talent Identification (KRITI) initiative, saw participation of over 150 boxers including 75 from India, 37 from Kazakhstan, 18 from Uzbekistan and 35 from Sri Lanka.

"The vision behind this is to identify athletes at a grassroots level and to build the bench strength of the he country," said Deputy Director SAI Sachin. K. PTI RM APA APA

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