HYDERABAD: Covid-19 has put paid to state boxer Mohammad Hussamuddin‘s aspiration of booking a berth to the Tokyo Olympic Games. The 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist was keen on Olympic qualification as nine of his colleagues had earned their tickets to Tokyo. But the lockdown left him stranded as all sporting activities and training was shut down for the last four months.
The 26-year-old boxer is now back in the training camp at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala as the camp got underway on July 26 after a 21-day quarantine.
Speaking to TOI on Wednesday, the Nizamabad boxer seemed unfazed with the lockdown and loss of training time. “Today’s like off day for us as there is no practice session in the evening,” he said.
Ten men and five women are currently training at the camp under the watchful eyes of Indian boxing‘s high performance director Santiago Nieva.
“It’s like warm up sessions now. We are just doing fitness and light practice both in the morning and evening sessions,” Hussamudin said. “As we are not being allowed to practice with partners due to social distancing, so we are indulging in some shadow boxing and practising with punch bags as of now. Hopefully, in another 10 days we would be starting our regular training sessions,” he added.
Hussamuddin, who narrowly missed out on the gold medal at the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria, in January this year after losing to Italy’s Francesco Maietta 1-4 in the final, is aiming for the Olympic qualification. “As of now there’s no clarity on when the boxing tournaments will resume. There will be some clarity by next month. Only one boxing tournament, Belarus National championship, was held since the Covid-19 pandemic halted all sports events. Hopefully, international tournaments will resume from October-November,” he said.