New Delhi : Only juniors will represent the country in the July 22-29 Commonwealth boxing championships in England, the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation has said.
The 11 boxers and five officials leave for England Saturday night.
The IABF had been criticised for its decision to field a junior team in the competition as it makes it easier for seniors in the competition to win medals.
"That is true. The seniors win easily because of the poor level of competition. But it's just not enough to win a medal. What finally matters are the world championships and Olympics. That is the reason we have taken this tough and not very popular decision," said the IABF secretary general Col. P.K. Muralidharan Raja.
The seniors must prepare for the upcoming world championships where eight boxers will book their places in each weight category for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
"It is important that we do well in the Chicago world championships from Oct 17. Asia has a quota of 62 boxers in the games and there will be two more qualifying tournaments in January (Thailand) and March (Kazakhstan). But how many berths are available in each tournament will depend on how many Asians make the grade in Chicago," explained Col. Raja.
The team: Nanao Singh Thokchom, Santosh Singh Soubam, Sunil, Suresh Mokara, Rakesh Arvind Kalaskar, Dilbag Singh, Suresh Kumar, Manjeet Singh, Parmoj Kumar, Parveen Kumar, Baljeet. Manoharan Ganapathy (coach), Anil (coach), Lennie Dgama (referee-judge), Prem Chand Verma (doctor) and Baktula Damodaran Manmohan (manager).