NEW DELHI, May 8 (PTI): They didn�t strike gold but it was mission accomplished for India�s Olympics-bound male boxers during the training-cum-competition trip to Kazakhstan as national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said the primary task of identifying weaknesses was completed ahead of the big event.
India�s seven Olympics-bound boxers, along with a few others, trained for close to a fortnight in the Kazakh city of Almaty and returned to the country in the wee hours this morning.
Of those who have qualified for the Olympics, only L Devendro Singh (49kg) managed to get a medal in Alamty, fetching a silver, but Sandhu said the purpose of the trip was not to win medals but to get exposure and work on past mistakes and shortcomings.
�We fulfilled what we set for ourselves. I told my boys that their focus should be on performance and medals would be a bonus,� Sandhu said.
�These boys were under tremendous pressure during the qualification tournaments and they needed some recovery. This trip provided them with that. Our boxers did some controlled sparring, school fights and free bouts and we identified the shortcomings in their techniques,� he added.
Eleven countries took part in the competition and the Indians got an idea of what awaits them at the Olympics.
�We got access to southpaw boxers, who are a rarity in India. We checked out boys who have qualified for the Olympics. We made recordings and all this will set us up for the Olympics,� said Sandhu.
�Now the focus is on covering the weak points and perfecting the strong points,� added the team�s Cuban coach B I Fernandes.
Seven Indian boxers � Devendro, Shiva Thapa (56kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Vijender Singh (75kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) � make up an unprecedented seven-strong Indian boxing contingent for the Olympics.