Selection system combining trials and assessment will work better for Indian boxing, says Simranjit


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A new selection system consisting of a trial as well as a two-week assessment process, giving equal weightage to both, will work better in the Indian boxing setup, feels World Championship bronze medallist Simranjit Kaur.

Since early this year, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has done away with selection trials.

The governing body has instead employed a new policy drafted in consultation with High-Performance Director (HPD) Ireland’s Bernard Dunne, in which the boxers undergo a two-week evaluation process where they are judged on various parameters.

But Simranjit begs to differ and wants both the trials and assessment system to go hand-in-hand. “The system has changed a lot (in recent times). Selection trials aren’t there anymore. We feel bad that why we are not having trials,” Simranjit, who settled for silver at the National Championships, told PTI.

“Most boxers are in favour of trials. A lot of boxers have spoken to him (Bernard) to have trials. But he sticks to the system in Ireland.” Simranjit, a regular in the national camp, had recently failed to make the cut for the Asian Games, finishing behind Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria in the assessment.

“Ireland is a small nation it has fewer boxers as compared to India. I am not saying only we are correct. He can be right also.

“He wants to look at all parameters which is good. But we say maybe you can do both. A trial as well as an assessment. Give 50 per cent weightage. I feel it can be balanced,” she added.

Many boxers, including World Championship silver medallist Amit Panghal, have questioned the new assessment system, with several of them taking the federation to court.

The 28-year-old feels it is difficult for a boxer to take the pressure of selection for 15 days.

“There is a lot of mental pressure in boxing. The trials are 2-3 days while the assessment is 2-3 weeks. To take that much pressure for 15-20 days is a lot. Our body gets too stressed, we can’t give 100 per cent every day,” Simranjit said.

The 2019 Asian Championship silver medallist feels conducting a trial gives clarity to the boxers, adding that she is clueless as to what the coaches are looking for.

“There should be trials for major competitions so that judges from outside can analyse and judge us. Inside the camp coaches analyse us but with trials, there is a lot of clarity, if we win we go if we lose we don’t.

“We have to show our boxing (skills) in the ring. If I run very well, it is not necessary that I will box well. Weightage should be given to the performance in the ring,” she said.

“They convey the feedback and we try to work on that. I try and give my best but what exactly they want I’m not sure,” the seasoned boxer said.

Since the Tokyo Olympics, Simranjit has struggled with form and the Punjab boxer has taken time off the ring to reflect on where she is lacking.

“I had 3 months to prepare for this (nationals). I have worked on my fitness and diet, which has helped me in the ring.

“I had become weak, I had a lot of vitamin deficiencies. Mentally I was fit but could not understand where I was lacking, the test results showed me that. So I started taking more protein, focussing on hydration,” she added.

Featured Image: Siasat

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