The Indian men's boxing team's final campaign derailed in favor of a positive COVID-19 affair in the 35th Boxham International tournament in Castellón, Spain, resulting in three comebacks from the summit clash. Olympic-bound Ashish Kumar (75 kg) tested positive for the virus and as a result of his roommate, Mohammad Hussamuddin (57 kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81 kg) were also forced to withdraw from the finals on Sunday night. All three ended with a silver medal that could have been gold but for unforeseen circumstances.
Santiago Neeva, the high-performance director of Indian boxing, told Castellan, “What started as a great competition has ended in an anti-climax.”
Ashish is “asymptomatic and healing”. He will serve his quarantine at Castellan for two weeks before returning to India.
Hussamuddin and Sumit have tested negative and are traveling back with the team which will land in Mumbai on Monday.
In addition, the veteran was Satish Kumar (+ 91 kg) due to an “illness” unable to compete in the finals.
Manish Kaushik (63kg) ended up becoming the only gold medalist for the side, beating Nikolai Terrettian of Denmark at the summit and making a stunning comeback from a knee injury that kept him out of action for a year.
Among the women, Simranjit Kaur (60 kg), who is also bound for the Olympics, was knocked out of her finals after testing positive for her semi-final rival – Puerto Rico's Kiriya Tapia – virus. However, the Indian has given a negative test.
“Due to local government regulations, she could not compete,” said Rafael Bergamasco, High Performance Director of Indian Women's Boxing.
Vikas Krishnan (69 kg) was the only other male boxer to compete on Sunday, losing a fierce contest to Youba Sisokho of Spain. The Indian was left with a cut above his right eye in a brutal contest.
In the women's draw, Pooja Rani (75 kg) and Jasmine (57 kg) also signed silver medals, beating better rivals in American Melissa Graham and Italian Irma Testa respectively.
India's campaign thus ended with one gold, eight silver and one bronze medals, claimed by six-time world champion MC Mary Kom.
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