Indian boxer Gaurav Bidhuri aims for Commonwealth Games 2018 spot, says returning from injury won't be tough

Mumbai:Bantamweight boxer Gaurav Bidhuri has requested the Boxing Federation of India for a trail to stake his claims for a spot in the Indian squad at the Commonwealth Games.

"It won't be tough for me to make a comeback," said the 24-year-old who won a bronze medal in the 56-kg class at last year’s World Championships in Hamburg.

Bidhuri was forced to miss various boxing events due to a back injury including the India Open in New Delhi and the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament held in Bulgaria earlier this month.

File image of Gaurav Bidhuri

File image of Gaurav Bidhuri. PTI

“I picked up the injury last year in April but we had a lot of events coming up like the Asian Boxing Championships as well as World Boxing Championships so I could not get proper rest. The physios were helpful during that time and they somehow took me to the World Championships. After I won bronze, I decided to focus on recovering from the injury,” Bidhuri said on the sidelines of the Times of India Sports Awards (TOISA) 2018.​

The period of rehab meant that Bidhuri ended up missing the National Boxing Championships as well as the India Open. He also missed the qualifiers for the Strandja Memorial Boxing event as well as the Asian Games Test event in Jakarta.

However, Bidhuri claims to have recovered from his injury and is hoping that the Boxing Federation of India would allow him to trial for a spot in the boxing team for the the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

The BFI will be announcing the boxing team for the Games in the coming days after India’s boxers return from Strandja. India would be fielding an eight-strong men’s squad (49kg, 52kg, 56kg, 60kg, 69kg, 75kg, 91,kg,+91kg) and four-member women’s team (48kg, 51 kg, 60kg and 69kg) for the Games.

The Delhi-based fighter is confident about performing well at the Games if selected and looks back at his World Championships performance for inspiration.

"I got a medal in the World Champions and that was a stepping stone. If I can get a medal at the World Championships, then why not at the Commonwealth Games and the (subsequent) Asian Games (in Jakarta, Indonesia)? That's how I motivate myself," added Bidhuri.

Bidhuri is only the fourth Indian boxer to win a world championship medal after Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (2011) and Shiva Thapa (2015).

Para athlete Varun Singh Bhati hoped 2020 Olympic Games would be more successful for him after having secured a bronze in the Rio Games two years ago followed by a repeat show in the Para world championships last year in men's high jump.

"I hope that 2020 will be something more. I won the Rio medal in 2016 and secured a bronze in the (Para) World Championship in 2017. The government has been recognising the efforts and now I am in the TOPS Scheme."

"Paralympics is becoming more competitive and after four years (since Rio) it will be more competitive and every individual has to work hard.

"We have competition among Indian high jumpers and more athletes are coming into Paralympics and there is more competition now," said Bhati, who benefited by training in Ukraine before the Rio Games.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Feb 27, 2018 14:02:08 IST

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