‘Fit­ness, nu­tri­tion key ar­eas of con­cern for In­dian box­ers’ ‘Time to at­tack Says In­dian Box­ing’s HPD from the word go’ San­ti­ago Nieva

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - Sabi.Hus­[email protected] times­group.com Sabi.Hus­[email protected] times­group.com New Delhi:

New Delhi: The World cham­pi­onships is done and dusted and the In­dian box­ers have now shifted their fo­cus to the next big chal­lenge – the Tokyo Olympics qual­i­fier to be held in Wuhan, China in Fe­bru­ary next year. And, for the In­dian coach­ing staff, there are some ar­eas of con­cern which need to be ad­dressed quickly ahead of the cru­cial qual­i­fiers.

These is­sues range from work­ing on the strength and con­di­tion­ing of na­tional campers to im­prov­ing their diet plan and adding more vari­a­tion to the way they box. ut, the most wor­ry­ing part re­mains the well-be­ing of the box­ers. The bad air qual­ity in Pa­tiala and Delhi in the month of De­cem­ber-Jan­uary due to the crop burn­ing by farm­ers in that pe­riod has forced the coaches to re­lo­cate the na­tional camp from NIS to JSW’s Inspire In­sti­tute of Sport (IIS) in Vi­jayana­gar, Kar­nataka. The camp was planned for three weeks in the month of Novem­ber, but now it will be twom­onth afaair.

“Poor air qual­ity is one of our ma­jor con­cerns. The IIS high-per­for­mance train­ing cen­tre has good fa­cil­i­ties. We have planned an in­ter­na­tional camp there. We will be ex­tend­ing in­vi­ta­tion to box­ers from Asian and Euro­pean coun­ytries to train (spar­ring ses­sions) with our box­ers. We are in the process of ex­tend­ing for­mal in­vi­ta­tion to quite a few coun­tries. Our box­ers will be there at the cen­tre for two months. The box­ers need bet­ter air qual­ity and weather for train­ing. The month of De­cem­ber and Jan­uary are lit­tle tough as far as air pol­lu­tion is con­cerned,” In­dia’s high per­for­mance di­rec­tor, Sweden’s San­ti­ago Nieva, told TOI.

Nieva said he is re­call­ing renowned strength and con­di­tion­ing ex­pert, Rickard Mats Nilsson, to work with the men’s team till the Tokyo Olympics. Nilsson had worked with both the men and women teams for close to 70 days in June-July last year and his train­ing had brought an over­all im­prove­ment in the per­for­mance of box­ers. “This time he will be with us for 100 days and he’s ex­pected to join the box­ers in Novem­ber. He has been called keep­ing in mind the qual­i­fiers. We want to take the train­ing to the next level as the qual­i­fiers are go­ing to be tough,” Nieva said.

“We also need to con­tin­u­ously im­prove our nu­tri­tion pat­tern where, I be­lieve, our box­ers are se­ri­ously lack­ing. Some of our box­ers’ eat­ing habits are not op­ti­mal for high-per­for­mance train­ing. They lack a clear ap­proach to nu­tri­tion. A proper diet is im­por­tant for train­ing, re­cov­ery and com­pe­ti­tion. Veg­e­tar­ian and non-veg­e­tar­ian food is an is­sue, but many of them eat too much of un­healthy food, like snacks and all, which they don’t re­alise is not op­ti­mal nu­tri­tion,” the coach in­formed. Nieva also stressed on the need to im­prove the qual­ity of video anal­y­sis and bring­ing a change in the soft­ware to an­a­lyse a bout in real quick time. New Delhi: An ath­lete gen­er­ally doesn’t tweak his tech­nique af­ter tast­ing suc­cess on the world stage. But some­times it’s good to get rid of old habits to achieve a larger goal, es­pe­cially when the tar­get is an Olympic medal. Amit Pang­hal is go­ing to work on chang­ing his game-time ap­proach.

His ten­dency to play a wait­ing game in the open­ing round of his bout would not be seen in fu­ture events. For Pang­hal, the ap­proach will now be sim­ple – at­tack from the word go and land as many punches as pos­si­ble in the first round of three min­utes.

“From the very be­gin­ning, my strat­egy has been to ob­serve the game plan of my op­po­nent. I would judge whether he was chang­ing his game mid­way or was go­ing to main­tain the same tempo. I would do that for first two min­utes or so be­fore look­ing to at­tack. I am slow starter. But I make up for it by at­tack­ing in the sec­ond and third rounds. I give my 100 per­cent in those two rounds. Some­times, this strat­egy works, some­times it doesn’t like in the Worlds fi­nal against (Uzbek­istan’s Shakho­bidin) Zoirov,” Pang­hal told TOI on Mon­day.

“From now on­wards, I will

When Pang­hal was fined Rs 1,000 for reporting late

Not many would know that Amit Pang­hal and his fel­low boxer, Bri­jesh Ya­dav (81kg), were fined Rs1,000 each by the In­dian coach­ing staff for reporting late for a prac­tice ses­sion dur­ing the re­cently-con­cluded World Cham­pi­onships in Eka­ter­in­burg, Rus­sia. It was chief for­eign coach San­ti­ago Nieva and chief na­tional coach A C Kut­tappa’s way of dis­ci­plin­ing Pang­hal and Ya­dav in time man­age­ment.

While Pang­hal stated he was fined be­cause he didn’t turn up for his weigh-in, as­sum­ing his weight wouldn’t have changed, both San­ti­ago and Kut­tappa main­tained that the boxer re­ported late for prac­tice.

look to at­tack from the very be­gin­ning. If I can score in the first and sec­ond rounds, then I can play a wait­ing game. My coaches spoke to me about my weak­ness and told me that I lost the fi­nal be­cause I was weak in the first round.”

Coach San­ti­ago Nieva also pointed out Pang­hal’s slow ap­proach in the first round as the weak­ness in his game.


In­dia’s star boxer Amit Pang­hal gets in­struc­tions from San­ti­ago Nieva

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