Amit, Vikas in Indian men's squad for Asian Boxing C'ship; team to leave for Dubai on May 21

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New Delhi, May 18 (PTI) Most of India's Olympic-bound male boxers, including world silver-medallist and defending champion Amit Panghal (52kg), made the cut for the Asian Championships in Dubai, for which the country's contingent will leave on May 21 after having got the requisite clearance to travel.

The event was to be held here but was shifted to Dubai because of the COVID-19 pandemic with India retaining the co-host status. The tournament-proper begins on May 24 with the draw ceremony scheduled on May 23.

The team's departure plans were shrouded in uncertainty because of international travel restrictions but the UAE authorities gave their approval on Tuesday.

Two Olympic-bound names missing from the men's team are Manish Kaushik (63kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg), both of whom are currently recovering from COVID-19. A total of five men have qualified for the Tokyo Games in July-August.

Kaushik has been replaced by Shiva Thapa, a four-time Asian medallist, while Narender has come in for Satish.

The women's team, which was announced last month, is headlined by six-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg) and features all the four Tokyo-bound boxers, including Simranjit Kaur (60kg), who recently recovered from COVID-19.

'We are thankful to the UAE Government, Indian Ambassador to UAE, Pavan Kapoor and ASBC President Mr Anas Alotaiba, who have helped us in every possible way to secure the team's travel to Dubai,' Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh said.

'This is a much-needed competition which is crucial for the final phase of training and preparation for the Olympics,' he added.

The men's squad also features Vikas Krishan (69kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg) among the Olympic-bound.

One change has been made to the women's team with Nagaland's Lalbuatsaihi (64kg) coming in for Pwilao Basumatary, who had to pull out as her passport was up for renewal.

India had delivered its best ever Asian Championship performance in the 2019 edition in Thailand, claiming 13 medals, including two gold, four silver and seven bronze.

The boxers picked for the upcoming editions have been undergoing regular RT-PCR tests and been training in bio-secure hubs in Patiala, Pune and Bengaluru.

Indian Squads: Men: Vinod Tanwar (49kg), Amit Panghal (52kg), Mohammad Hussamuddin (56kg), Varinder Singh (60kg), Shiva Thapa (64kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg), Sanjeet (91kg) and Narender (+91kg).

Women: Monika (48kg), MC Mary Kom (51kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jasmine (57kg), Simranjeet Kaur (60kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Saweety (81kg) and Anupama (+81kg). PTI PM AH AH

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