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37th National Games: Boxer Manish Kaushik roars back with gold after seven-month injury lay-off

Panaji, Nov 9 (IANS) Having endured a tough phase in his career– a long injury-enforced layoff, Olympian boxer Manish Kaushik is looking forward to qualifying for next year’s Paris Olympic Games.

Kaushik made a grand return from a seven-month injury lay-off and reminded critics of his prowess in the men’s light welterweight category by winning the gold medal in the 37th National Games in Goa.

Down with L4 and L5 disc pain, the 2019 World Championships bronze medalist was out of action for a major part of the 2023 season. His last competition before the break was the Senior National Boxing Championships in which he went down to arch-rival and six-time Asian championships medallist Shiva Thapa of Assam in the semifinal bout.

“It was a tough phase, I was down with severe pain in the disc. When I consulted the doctor, he recommended complete rest to get over it, and the rest stretched to 6-7 months. I missed training sessions, and a couple of important tournaments, including the Hangzhou Asian Games but at the same time it was necessary to get my back in shape,” he said.

Having made his comeback at the 21st Mustafa Hajrulahvoic Memorial tournament in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kaushik struck gold in September and has been training rigorously to prepare for the 37th National Games, and subsequently the Senior Nationals, starting November 24 in Shillong. Meghalaya.

On his way to the National Games gold medal at the Peddem Indoor Stadium in Goa, Kaushik had to rely on his experience to get the better of Akash Gurkha of Goa in the final and was quick to praise his opponent.

“He (Akash) is a very good prospect. One can’t expect the final bout to be one-sided. It was a good contest and I am happy that I could win the gold. Winning a gold at the National Games is always special, and this will give me the confidence ahead of the nationals,” he added.

With the Paris Olympics quota places up for grabs, Kaushik said there will be no break ahead of the national championships, as he is eyeing a gold to make it to the Olympic qualifiers, slated to be held in Italy.

“That exactly is the idea, and the gold at the National Games has come as a confidence booster. The national championships will be a challenging one, also because it will be held in the chilly conditions in late November in Shillong. So, there will be no breather from training, as the aim is to win the gold at the Nationals,” the 27-year-old maintained.

Kaushik is, however, aware of the challenge that awaits him in the nationals, with Guwahati-born Thapa, expected to relish boxing with a sizable home support for him.

The two have been each other’s biggest rivals on the domestic circuit in recent years and have fought for supremacy to represent India in the light welterweight category. And with a fit-again Manish gaining momentum from the National Games gold, it could well be the most-awaited bout of the Senior Nationals, later this month.



Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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