Ace Indian boxer Amit Panghal, who has been ranked number one by the Boxing Task Force of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ahead of the next month Olympic Qualifiers, insists that he will have to keep putting in the hard yards to remain on course for a medal in the Tokyo Games.
Panghal, who won the historic silver medal at the World Championships in the 52-kg weight category, is at the top spot with 420 points, according to the list released by the IOC’s Boxing Task Force, which is in charge of administering the sport right now.
“I am very happy about attaining the number one rank for the qualifiers. This will motivate me even more to perform in the future competitions,” Panghal told IANS.
“I have to remain confident about my game and keep putting in the hard yards and after following a good training method hopefully I will be able to produce good results for my country,” he added.
The 24-year-old is the first boxer in the last 10 years to achieve the global top position in his category. Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender Singh had in 2009 achieved the number one spot after he won bronze in the 75kg weight category at the World Championships held in Milan.
Last year, Panghal had said that that at least two gold medals can be expected from Indian boxers at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“We will go into the Tokyo Olympics with an aim to win at least two gold medals. We can win more but at least two gold medals can be expected from Indian boxers at the Tokyo Olympics,” Panghal had said earlier.
The Asian Olympic qualifier event, which was originally scheduled to be held from February 3 to 14 in Wuhan, will be held at the Sport City in Amman, Jordan from March 3-11.