COVID technicality delays Indian boxing team’s departure for Asian youth & junior C’ships

New Delhi, Aug 18 (PTI) A “technical issue” with their COVID-19 test reports on Wednesday delayed the Indian boxing contingent’s departure for the Asian Youth and Junior Championships in Dubai by a day and the group will now head for the continental showpiece on Thursday evening.

India is set to field four squads, two in men (junior and youth) and two in women (junior and youth), in the tournament which gets underway on Friday with the draws scheduled to be held on Thursday.

“The RT PCR test reports that we were carrying did not have QR codes which is mandatory in Dubai. The teams have come back to Rohtak for tonight and will leave tomorrow evening after fresh tests in the morning. It is a technical issue which we were not aware of,” a source in the Indian contingent told PTI.

“In these times, such glitches can happen. The only downside is that the competition starts on Friday and we will have to acclimatise quickly, which is also not new for us. Our draws will not be affected because the entries have been sent already,” he added.

The contingent was at the Delhi airport for a while before it went back to its base in Rohtak.

Eighteen nations have confirmed participation in the championships, including Bahrain, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.

The tournament will be competed in the the new weight classes after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) rejigged the divisions last month.

From the current 10, the men’s weight categories have now gone up to 13 with the minimum weight reduced to 48kg from the current 49kg.

The featherweight (57kg) has been added back to the fold along with the addition of light middle-weight (71kg) and the cruiserweight (86kg).

The women’s divisions have gone up from 10 to 12 with the addition of light flyweight at 50kg and light middle-weight at 70kg.

The competition will be held simultaneously for both genders and for the youth and junior boxers for the very first time in the event’s history.