Rising star Ankit Narwal and Asian champion T. Sanamacha Chanu are among the 19-member Indian boxing squad that will compete in the 30th Adriatic Pearl Youth Men and Women Boxing Championship that gets underway in Budva, Montenegro, on Wednesday.
This is the first foreign exposure for Indian youth team since the Covid-19 pandemic hit Indis early last year.
As many as 13 countries, including boxing powerhouse like Russia and Ukraine, are competing. The six-day long competition, which concludes on February 22, will provide a good opportunity for Indian boxers to polish their skill ahead of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Poland from April 10-24.
Haryana’s Khelo India champion, Ankit, will be seen in action in the 64kg category. Winner of silver at the 2019 ASBC Youth Asian Boxing Championship held in Mongolia, the Haryana’s athlete is expected to give a good account of his potential in the Balkan country.
Priyanshu Dabas (49kg), Naoba Singh Arambam (52kg), Sanjarambam Yaiphaba Meitei (56kg), Akash Ramesh Gorkha (60kg), Sumit (69kg), Vishal (75kg), Vishal Gupta (91kg), and Jugnoo (+91kg) are the other eight Indian in the men’s category.
Sanamacha is leading the women’s charge. The Manipuri girl, who trains at the MC Mary Kom Academy in Imphal, is a strong contender in the title in the 75kg category.
Vinka (60kg), winner of gold medal at the 2019 ASBC Asian Championships, and Asian junior champion Alfiya Pathan (+81kg) are other high profile boxers in the national squad.
Gitika (48kg), Naorem Babyrojisana Chanu (51kg), Neha (54kg), Preeti (57kg), Lucky Rana (64kg), Arundhati Choudhary (69kg), and Raj Sahiba (81kg) are also in the nine-member team.