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18 boxers at NIS Patiala test Covid positive

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The camp with 63 boxers and 27 coaches and support staff will continue at NIS, one of the country’s 23 National Centres of Excellence (NCE)

The ongoing national boxing camp for men at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala has been rocked by Covid infections with at least 14 boxers and four coaches testing positive on Wednesday.

The cases come on the heels of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) shutting down 67 training centres across the country on Monday. As many as 63 boxers and 27 coaches and support staff are in the camp at NIS, which is among 23 National Centres of Excellence (NCOEs).

On Tuesday, Olympians Amit Panghal, Manish Kaushik, Vikas Krishan, Satish Kumar and Ashish Kumar have been added—they received their letters on Wednesday—after being left out of the earlier camp in October. Panghal and Ashish are due to join the camp on Sunday.

“A total of 14 boxers and four coaches tested positive today. There is no reason to worry though. All infected are quarantining in their hostel rooms in NIS and are doing perfectly fine. There is no need for any hospitalisation,” Boxing Federation of India (BFI) secretary-general Hemanta Kalita said.

There are concerns over the camp continuing. “I don’t see much point in continuing with the camp in such a scenario,” a source said.

Kalita, however, said: “The national camp for men will continue and other boxers will continue to train as usual.” The camp resumed on January 3 after a nine-day winter break. It is due to go on till March 14.

On January 6, Patiala district recorded the highest number of single-day cases in Punjab (687), following which health officials had declared NIS as a containment zone.

The camp is helmed by recently-appointed national coach Narendra Rana, who replaced CA Kuttappa following the dismal performance of the men’s team at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

The five-member men’s team returned from Tokyo with one win and zero medals. Lovlina Borgohain’s bronze was the only saving grace for the nine-member boxing contingent.

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Courtesy – www.hindustantimes.com

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