Amit Panghal still awaits an update on his coach Anil Kumar Dhankar joining him at the boxing national camp currently underway at the National Institute of Sport (NIS) in Patiala, Punjab. Amit has been training at the Patiala facility since July and says that the amount of training he used to do during lockdown under Dhankar was more effective than what he does now at NIS.
“The latest update I have is that the file has been sent to the (Sports) ministry. For now nothing is confirmed,” Amit told IANS.
The 24-year-old boxer, who became the first Indian to win silver at the men’s World Championships in 2019, had first put forward the request for Dhankar to be with him at the national camp in December. In the past, he has credited Dhankar numerous times for shaping his career and even pleaded for a Dronacharya award for the coach.
“I can do all my basic training and fitness stuff with him very well. I would train with him before and after competitions and that always helps me. So if he is with me all the time, it will be very good for me,” said Amit, the world no.1 in the 52kg category.
“In my opinion I didn’t fall too far behind because I was training with my coach at home all along. The way I train with him, I don’t think I can match up to that even here. That is why I requested SAI (Sports Authority of India) and BFI (Boxing Federation of India) that I need him for the Olympics.”
SAI’s Standard Operating Procedure for restart of training amid the Covid-19 pandemic prohibits physical contact which means that the boxers at the camp have been unable to spar during training. Amit said that the restrictions on movement inevitably brings on boredom but the camp has been good for the boxers to work on their weaknesses and places where they fell behind during the lockdown.
“Yes it has been boring because we cannot go outside anywhere, we have not been home for the past three months. But it has been great for training. I could see that my power had reduced a lot in the beginning and that is what we are working on among other things,” he said.
Among the things discussed at the recent Special General Meeting held at the BFI was restarting sparring in Patiala and a possible European tour for the boxers next month with the first stop being Italy.
“It is time to restart sparring,” said Amit. “It has been three months that we have all been here and none of us have got any sort of sickness. If we are allowed to train with partners it will be great. Maybe we will start doing that next month after we go to Italy.”