Congratulating the Indian contingent, which returned with an impressive haul of nine medals from the just-concluded Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Boxing Federation of India (BFI) President Ajay Singh on Tuesday warned the boxers not to get carried away with the recent accolades.
Inspired by five-time world champion M.C. Mary Kom's maiden CWG gold in women's 48 kilogram category, India's Vikas Krishan (75 kg) Gaurav Solanki (52 kg) also clinched the yellow medal.
Satish Kumar (91kg), Amit Panghal (49kg) and Manish Kaushik (60kg) settled for silvers while Mohammed Husammuddin (56kg), Naman Tanwar (91kg) and Manoj Kumar (69kg) bagged bronze medals after losing their semi-final bouts.
Their feat at the CWG have indeed created a flutter among fans but Singh wants the boxers to keep their focus, keeping in mind the busy season ahead.
"This is surely a historic performance. We are extremely proud of our boxers, and congratulate the great support from the coaches and the support staff. But I would like to say, this is just the start," Singh told IANS on the sidelines of a felicitation programme for the boxing contingent.
"Having done so well in Gold Coast, we should not take ourselves for granted. There is so much more to achieve as the ultimate objective to get Olympic medals in 2020 and 2024.
"We are trying to built a team for the future and make sure that India is a powerhouse, a leading nation in the world in boxing," he added.
Singh further said that the CWG performance is a testimony to BFI's hard work but cautioned the boxers that the upcoming Asian Games won't be an easy nut to crack.
"We will prepare for the Asiad, starting next week with both the men and women's teams travelling to Serbia. We also have the World Series Boxing next week where we are hosting Russia. We are also sending our teams to the Michael Johnson Academy in Texas, before the Asian Games," he added.
Hailing the BFI's initiatives and support for the magnificent show of Indian pugilists in Gold Coast, Mary Kom said: "It is a proud moment for me to win my first CWG medal, but this wouldn't have been possible without the support of the BFI and the sports ministry."
"BFI is doing an incredible job in bringing top boxing events to India and the amount of exposure the young boxers are getting from these events will surely help them and India to become a boxing super power in the near future," she added.
(Tridib Baparnash can be contacted at email@example.com)
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