Shillong, Nov 10: A dazzling array of the top boxing talent from around the country will be arriving in Shillong later this month for the 7th Elite Men’s National Boxing Championship, which will be a key preparation ground for India’s pugilists before the 2024 Olympic Games.

The championship will witness more than 350 boxers in 13 different weight categories vying for glory at the SAI Indoor Stadium on the NEHU campus here from 25th November to 1st December.

The event is being organised by the Meghalaya Boxing Association and Boxing Federation of India and sponsored by the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs.

Briefing reporters about the upcoming national event at a press conference here today were MBA President Cornelius Kharhunai, the tournament’s Organising Secretary and Joint Secretary of the BFI Larry Kharpran, MBA Joint Secretary Khrawkupar Kharmawphlang, MBA Secretary Dondor Marwein and MBA Treasurer Daniel W Marbaniang.

Kharpran said that boxers from over 30 states, Union territories and sports promotion boards will be taking part in weight categories ranging from 46kg to 92kg.

He specifically thanked Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Commissioner and Secretary of Sports & Youth Affairs Vijay Kumar D and Director of Sports & Youth Affairs Isawanda Laloo; the latter is the chairperson of the tournament’s organising committee.

Some of the top male boxers expected to participate include two-time Olympian and 6-time Asian Championship medallist Shiva Thapa, 2018 Asian Games champion Amit Panghal and 2022 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Rohit Tokas, among others.

Apart from the hundreds of boxers, more than 100 coaches and 60 technical officials will also be at the event, making this is another prestigious sporting event that has been brought to the state capital in recent years.

Preparations are well underway, with the organising committee comprising members of the MBA and Sports and Youth Affairs Department and the estimated budget is around Rs 1 crore, which will cover food, lodging, logistics, etc. Government support is key as, this being amateur boxing, avenues for private sponsorship are fewer.

Meanwhile, Kharpran also informed that selection for Meghalaya boxers will begin tomorrow and he expects around 10 to take part in the championship.

“There will be very stiff competition but hopefully our boxers who did well in the East Zone Elite Men’s Boxing Championship in August, like Badonkupar Synnah and Sanjeev Maskut, can win medals on home turf,” Kharpran added.

(Representative photo)

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