Asian champion Amit Panghal said on Wednesday that he might undergo strength training in the USA with the Indian Army’s assistance to prepare his move to compete in the 52kg category for a shot at an Olympic medal. Amit, who won the gold medal in men’s 49kg category at the Asian Games by defeating the world and Olympic champion Hassanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan will be forced to move to higher weight categories as the 49kg category will be axed from the Olympics to give room to more women’s divisions.
”Asian Games was my last competition in the 49kg category. Now my entire focus will be on Tokyo Olympics and for that I am switching to 52kg category. The challenge of increasing the weight isn’t that great. The bigger challenge is to get adjusted to new weight,” Panghal told PTI during a felicitation programme organised by the Indian Army as reported by Times of India.
”I have been told that I might be sent to the United States for a special strength training programme. I still don’t know the details. The Army is going to sponsor my trip but details will be chalked out only after talking to the Boxing Federation of India. Our coaches Santiago sir (Nieva) and (CA) Kuttappa sir will accompany me,” Amit said.
I am ready for the new challenges- Amit
”I am fully aware about the challenges of a higher weight category. The height of the opponents will increase and the power in the punches will be greater. But I am ready for the new challenge,” Panghal said.
Middle weight boxer Vikas Krishan has allready confirmed that he will turn a professional boxer in pursuit of achieving an Olympic medal but Amit has denied any interest in turning a pro as yet.
”The Indian Army has helped me a lot in my journey so far. Whether it’s coaching facilities or other training needs, we just need to tell them and everything is taken care of. When I don’t train at NIS Patiala, I am training at the Army Sports Institute in Pune,” he said.
The Hometown awaits its champion
”I will be going back to my village in Rohtak where I have been told that the whole village wants to meet me. There are a few felicitation programmes lined up over there and I need to attend those before I get back to training,” the Indian army’s Naib Subedar said.