Tokyo Olympics 2020: Qualifiers shifting to India from Wuhan will be a great boost for local boxers, says pugilist Simranjit Kaur

  • BFI has offered to host next month's Olympic Qualifiers after it was taken away from the Chinese city of Wuhan due to the outbreak of coronavirus

  • The qualifiers are scheduled to be held from February 3 to 15, but it has now become uncertain following the virus outbreak which has claimed 17 lives

  • Simranjit Kaur said she will look to justify her selection in the qualifiers by earning a ticket to Tokyo Olympics

New Delhi: Former World Championships bronze medallist Simranjit Kaur on Friday said besides home advantage it will act as a confidence booster for local boxers if India get to host the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which has been cancelled in the Chinese city of Wuhan following the outbreak of coronavirus.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has offered to host next month's Olympic Qualifiers after it was taken away from the Chinese city of Wuhan due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

 Tokyo Olympics 2020: Qualifiers shifting to India from Wuhan will be a great boost for local boxers, says pugilist Simranjit Kaur

File image of Simranjit Kaur. BFI

The qualifiers were scheduled to be held from 3 to 15 February, but it has now become uncertain following the virus outbreak which has claimed 17 lives and infected more than 550 people.

"It would be a good if it happens in India. It will boost our confidence as we train here and with crowd rooting for us, it will be home advantage. So mentally we would be more confident as we will be playing at home," the 24-year-old from Punjab told PTI on the sidelines of a program celebrating 'National Girl Child Day'.

Asked if postponing the Qualifiers will affect their preparation, Simranjit said: "Our training had sped up in the last few days but now with this postponement, we can take a little more time. We now have a month more to prepare for the qualifiers, so it is good."

Simranjit, who had won a gold at Ahmet Comert International Boxing Tournament in Istanbul in 2018, said she will look to justify her selection in the qualifiers by earning a ticket to Tokyo Games.

"2019 was a good year for me as I had won a silver at Asian Championships. But now I feel it is a big responsibility for me as I have been selected and I will have to give my best for the country and qualify for the Olympics," she said.

"I will go step by step. I am not thinking much about the Tokyo Games as first I have to qualify."

Talking about her training schedule, Simranjit said: "We are doing a lot of strength training and focusing on power punches. We put in the extra effort whenever required.

"All things matter whether it is punches or foot work, so focusing on overall right now. I don't think I am weak in any particular area as I play with my heart," she signed off.

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Updated Date: Jan 24, 2020 20:29:37 IST