The Institute in Pune, which has nurtured talented amateur boxers, has strong presence in Asian Games bound Indian men’s squad.
ASI boxers rule the ring
Army Sports Institute in Pune has produced many top class amateur boxers in the past and it has made its rich presence in India’s men’s seven-member boxing contingent for the Asian Games.
Amit Panghal (49kg), Gaurav Solanki (52kg), Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg) and Dheeraj Rangi (64kg) are the institute products who still train at ASI with coach CA Kuttappa. Shiva Thapa (60kg) currently with ONGC and Vikas Krishan (75kg) are ex cadets of Boys Sports Company ASI. Manoj Kumar (69kg) from Railways Sports Promotion Board is the seventh member in the men's squad.
Solanki made ASI proud by winning gold in the Commonwealth Games while Panghal won silver and Hussamuddin won bronze at the Gold Coast in April.
Solanki won one more gold at the Chemistry Cup in Germany in June and Hussamuddin followed it up with gold medal effort. Panghal and Rangi won bronze medals.
All these seven boxers are currently training rigorously in Patiala for the Asian Games starting in Jakarta from August 18.
“We hope our boxers will bring laurels again for India and ASI but it will depend on the draw. Boxers from Uzbekistan and Kazakistan are tough opponents,” Kuttappa said.
Quizzed about the reason ASI keeps producing talented boxers like Nanao Singh and Thapa, Kuttappa said they train there for 365 days. “Boxers stay at ASI and can train 365 days a year. A boxer here is always either training, or in a camp or competing outside. There are holidays for a boxer only when there is no competition near,” he said.
ASI is equipped with modern technology, scientific training and physical conditioning in addition to the best foreign coaches, physios, sports nutritionists under whose able guidance the athletes fine-tune their skills.
“Besides hard work and discipline we have world class facilities, foreign coach and support staff to give advanced training to athletes,” he added.
The state-of-the-art facility at Army Sports Institute was established in 2001 to tap vast talent pool of sportsmen serving in the Army and young talented boys (Boys Sports Company Scheme) under “Mission Olympics Programme”.
Besides boxing, ASI conducts training in archery, athletics, diving, fencing, weightlifting and wrestling for serving Army sportsmen and boys under the Missions Olympics Programme. The Institute which hosted a national junior camp for boxing last, is currently gearing up for the Armed Force Championship for air force, navy and armed personals.