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Devendra Singh, M Suranjoy return as coaches in Indian boxing team

Commonwealth Games medalists M Suranjay Singh and L Devendro Singh, whose boxing careers were cut short by injuries, have been inducted as coaches for men by the national federation ahead of this month’s World Championships.

29-year-old Devendro and 35-year-old Suranjoy are among the 14 coaches who have been selected for the national camp in Patiala starting this week. The World Championships, featuring over 600 boxers from over 100 countries, begins in Belgrade, Serbia, on 24 October.

Other prominent names in the coaching staff are head coach Narendra Rana, former junior coach MS Dhaka, veteran Dharmendra Yadav and former boxers Diwakar Prasad and Torak Kharpan among others. BFI general secretary Hemant Kalita confirmed the development to PTI.

Interestingly, both Suranjoy and Devendro have trained under Dhaka at the junior level.

Suranjoy is a gold medalist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and 2009 Asian Championships, Devendro won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and made it to the pre-quarters of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Suranjoy was also made the assistant coach in 2017 but due to some personal issues, he could not accept the position.

“The last time I was named, there were family problems, now everything is fine, will join,” said Manipuri, who won eight consecutive international gold medals during a stellar run from 2009 to 2010, before suffering a knee injury. hindered his career. , told PTI.

“The World Championships is going to be a challenging task, as the weight categories have been changed, but we are ready for it, and hopefully we can get some good results,” he said.

Devendro, a quarter-finalist of the World Championships and silver medalist of the Asian Championships, was also upbeat.

“I finally get a chance to use what I’ve learned all these years, I hope I can make it count. It’s an honor.”

Devendro completed her Diploma in Coaching from National Institute of Sports, Patiala in 2020.

As expected, the five boxers who represented India at the Tokyo Olympics – Amit Panghal, Manish Kaushik, Vikas Krishan, Ashish Kumar and Satish Kumar – are not part of the World Championships camp after being dropped from the national championships. Of these, Vikas and Ashish have suffered injuries.

Both Suranjoy and Devendro are part of the Services Sports Control Board, which dominated the national championships last month, winning eight gold medals.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) had earlier decided to replace men’s head coach CA Kuttappa with Sena Sports Institute’s Rana ahead of the mega-event in Serbia, also to mark the end of high performance director Santiago Nieva’s tenure. is defined.

Former Asian Championship bronze medalist and four-time national champion, 49-year-old Rana has been a veteran coach of the Services Sports Control Board.

He has coached World Championship medalists Amit Panghal and Manish Kaushik at different stages of their careers.

Rana is based at the Army Sports Institute (ASI) in Pune, the place credited with discovering stars like Suranjoy, Vikas, Shiv Thapa and Devendro.

Kuttappa continues to be a part of the set-up although the federation has named him as the coach coordinator.

Indian boxing continues to churn out developments after the performance of the Tokyo Olympics, which was termed as overwhelming by the national federation.

Already female high performance director Raphael Bergamasco has left after not getting an extension in her contract. The head coach of the women’s team, Mohammad Ali Qamar, is also likely to be replaced.

India had the largest boxing team ever to compete at the Games in July–August – five men and four women, of whom only Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) could finish on the podium with a bronze medal.

It was the country’s first boxing medal at the Games in nine years, but more was to be expected as the boxers put on a leading performance for the showpiece.

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