Mumbai: Amit Panghal won India’s only gold medal in boxing at the 2018 Asian Games but he didn’t receive any award like fellow medal winners in Indonesia.
He downed Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in the final of light flyweight category but wasn’t nominated for the award as reportedly his past doping record came to haunt him.
As he is still soaking in the glory and getting all the love in his village, somewhere disappointment of the award snub is visible.
The 49kg boxer tested positive for an anabolic steroid in 2012 and disappeared from the scene for two years before returning in 2014.
“I was very young then and had chicken pox, so I wasn’t aware about drug intake. Now I am extra careful before any event and their is more awareness now,” he said.
He said award snub will motivate him to win more gold medals in top events. “Boxing Federation told me that episode is over and you will be considered for awards. It is disappointing to miss out this time but the federation nominated my seniors so I am happy. I will try to do well and win many awards in future,” Panghal added.
The Rohtak boxer will now compete in 52kg as 49kg category has been dropped. “I have to become stronger and I am confident of doing well. I have already started training and I am looking forward to Asian champion-ships, World Championships and Olympic qualifier events,” he said.
The talented boxer who will turn 23 later this month is made for challenges. He was overweight before his Asian Games semifinal bout but managed to fit in weight category in the morning and downed his opponent for a podium finish.
“My opponent in the semi-final changed his tactics and he was attacking like me. I wasn’t able to track his moments initially before I got the measure of him. After the match I was two and half kg above weight. I trained till 1.30 am, checked my weight and then slept,” he recalled.
He is looking forward to train in USA. “I haven’t yet received the visa but federation is on it. I have to make certain adjustments and I want to work on it in US,” he said....