Commonwealth Games team preview: India and New Zealand

04 July 2014 News

Clyde CG1 Official Mascotte

Clyde CG1 Official Mascotte

India finished second in the overall medal table of the 2010 Commonwealth Games which was hosted in their home country, and they will need a strong boxing medal turnout to rival their record in the 2014 edition of the Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Their eleven-strong squad contains three tough women’s athletes, and eight experienced men’s boxers, including five London 2012 Olympic Games competitors, and two Asian Champions.

India’s team are well regarded and successful in international boxing, and they will be expecting top results and golden moments in Glasgow.

Fast facts
What: Commonwealth Games
Where: Glasgow, Scotland
When: 23 July – 3 August, 2014

The Tension and the Drama
Pinky Jangra caused a surprise last month when she defeated India’s national legend, and five-time AIBA World Champion and London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Chungneijang Mark Kom Hmangte in their selection trial, to ensure her selection for the Games.

Jangra has competed in various international events, but is still inexperienced at the top level, and with the added pressure of replacing a legend, how will she fare in Scotland?

The next multi-sport event of the year after the Commonwealth Games will the Asian Games, which are scheduled for September.

Therefore, the biggest question for their boxers will be the timing of their form in Scotland – will they be able to compete again in two months?

Ones to watch in the Commonwealth Games
AIBA World Championships quarter-finalist, and London 2012 Olympian, 22-year-old Laishram Devendro Singh took part in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament this February, and claimed a gold medal in the prestigious event in Hungary.

The Light Flyweight class (49 kg) boxer is tipped to replicate that gold in the Commonwealth Games.

Defending ASBC Asian Continental Champion Shiva Thapa is perhaps the Indian delegation’s most realistic chance for the gold medal in Glasgow.

The young Indian fought in the fourth season in the World Series of Boxing, and his experience could see him earn gold.

India’s London 2012 Olympian Manoj Kumar is the current titleholder in the Commonwealth Games at the Light Welterweight class (64 kg), and will give it his all to defend his throne.

Beijing 2008 Olympics bronze medallist Vijender Singh is a national hero and TV star, and defeated AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Vikas Krishan Yadav in the final of their National Selection Trials.

Indian Facts in the Commonwealth Games
The Indian boxing delegation could be one of the most successful teams in the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

Their men’s team also consists of AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifiers winner Sumit Sangwan, who also represented USA Knockouts in the World Series of Boxing.

ASBC Asian Continental Championships Mandeep Jangra, Asian Games silver medallist Dinesh Kumar and Parveen Kumar are also strong members of the team.

Former AIBA Women’s World Champion Sarita Laishram Devi (60 kg), and Asian Games competitor Pooja Rani (75 kg) will also represent India.

India’s history in the event
The Indian boxers took part in the Commonwealth Games for the very first time in Cardiff, Wales in 1958.

Their first medal was a bronze medal, and was delivered by Shivaji Bhonsle in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1970.

India’s first ever boxing gold in the Games was acquired by Mohamed Ali Qamar at the Light Flyweight class in Manchester in 2002.

Since then, Akhil Kumar also bagged a gold medal in 2006, while in the last edition of the Commonwealth Games held in India, three of their athletes won gold medals.

NEW ZEALAND 

Nine Kiwi boxers will take part in the upcoming Commonwealth Games, with two women, and seven men representing New Zealand’s boxing team in Glasgow.

Fast facts
What: Commonwealth Games
Where: Glasgow, Scotland
When: 23 July – 3 August, 2014

The Tension and the Drama
New Zealand’s boxing team are regarded as the number two side in the Oceania region behind Australia, but the young Kiwi athletes have been competing well in various European tournaments this year to ensure that will be ready to perform to their best ability in Glasgow.

New Zealand’s delegation did not win any medals in the boxing tournament of the last Commonwealth Games in India, which was a surprise considering their talented team.

Since India, their head coach has built up a new and exciting squad, with several of them possible medal contenders in Glasgow.

There are many factors for success in a boxing competition, but one task for New Zealand to overcome will be the travel, as they have a very long journey to Scotland from their native land.

Ones to watch in the Commonwealth Games
New Zealand’s new boxing sensation is 19-year-old Patrick Mailata, who competes in the Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg).

Mailata grew up playing rugby in his early teenage years, and only took up boxing in 2010, but his performances since his debut have seen him favourably compared to Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games silver medallist, and compatriot Joseph Parker.

Despite his relative lack of experience in the sport, the Kiwi is a definite threat in Glasgow, and will be looking to use all of his 115kg frame, and his powerful combinations.

Their Welterweight class (69 kg) boxer is Bowyn Morgan, a silver medallist at the 2012 AIBA Oceania Olympic Qualifiers, and who has achieved success in many events over the recent years.

His teammate David Light is one of the most experienced boxers in the team, even though he is just 22-years-old.

The Heavyweight class (91 kg) boxer was the lone competitor from New Zealand in the last edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan last October.

Both of New Zealand’s women boxers have experience of fighting in Britain, as both qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Alexis Todd-Pritchard, and multiple National Champion Megan Maka also won the recent North Island Golden Gloves Tournament in Taupo, giving them ideal preparation for the Commonwealth Games.

AIBA Youth World Championships competitor David Nyika won the Vllaznia Memorial Tournament in Albania in May, which gave him a guaranteed place in the team, while Eric Finau was added to the team shortly before the deadline.

AIBA Oceania Olympic Qualifiers silver medallist Chad Milnes, and National Champion Leroy Hindley are also members of the squad, and both should produce some exciting boxing action.

NZ Fact of the Commonwealth Games
The average age of the men’s squad is just 21.4 years, which means many of their team members could also compete in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

New Zealand’s history in the event
New Zealand’s best boxers have been competing in the Commonwealth Games since 1938, where their first medals were achieved in Sydney.

Auckland hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1950, and Frank Creagh won their first boxing gold at the +79.4kg weight class.

The tenth edition of the Commonwealth Games was scheduled in Christchurch, while Auckland hosted the Games second time in 1990, where New Zealand’s last boxing gold medal was achieved by Michael Kenny.

Daniel Codling (69kg) and Shane Cameron (91kg) won the last Commonwealth Games medals for New Zealand in Manchester 2002.

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