The stage is set to welcome to Shillong, the 7th Elite Men’s National  Boxing  Championship

Shillong, Nov 24: The stage is set and the boxing ring is ready to welcome top men’s talent from around the country to Shillong, which is hosting the 7th Elite Men’s National Boxing Championship from Saturday.

The 25 November to 1 December event is being organised by the Meghalaya Boxing Association (MBA) and Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and sponsored by the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Meghalaya, and will be held at the SAI Indoor Hall on the NEHU campus.

The opening ceremony will take place tomorrow at 10:30am. It will be graced by the Honourable Minister of Sports & Youth Affairs, Government of Meghalaya, Shri Shakliar Warjri as Chief Guest. Shri Hemanta Kumar Kalita, Secretary General of the Boxing Federation of India, will be the Guest of Honour.

This will be the latest in a string of major sports events that have been drawn to Shillong in recent years, such as the multi-disciplinary North East Olympic Games 2022, National Ranking Archery Tournament 2023 and Senior National Table Tennis Championship 2022.

It is not only a matter of pride for Meghalaya to be able to successfully host such prestigious events and the top national athletes that come with them but these tournaments also inspire the youth of Meghalaya to pursue their dreams in sport, which is being ably supported through a raft of schemes by the state government. Organising competitions like these also play a big role in helping Meghalaya prepare to host the 39th National Games, which it is set to do in the future.

There are over 300 boxers who will take part in the championship across 13 different weight categories representing states, Union territories, the military, etc. The venue, which has been transformed by the inclusion of two professional boxing rings, was a hive of activity today, with pugilists and officials completing their registration and other formalities.

One of those present was a well-known face to Meghalaya boxing – Torak Kharpran, a renowned exponent of the sport. A Sports Authority of India coach, Kharpran is here as the coach of the Arunachal Pradesh boxing contingent.

“It’s an opportunity for the young boxers to showcase their talent,” he said of the championship. “It’s one of the preparation events for the Olympic Games. There is a second round of qualifiers coming in Italy for the Olympics and boxers will want to do well here in order to step up to that level.”

Some of these top boxers include the likes of two-time Olympian and six-time Asian Championship medallist Shiva Thapa as well as 2018 Asian Games champion Amit Panghal. Meghalaya, meanwhile, has named nine young boxers to represent the state at the championship.

“For Meghalaya, it’s a great opportunity to host this event but it’s not just about hosting. Seeing these top boxers will inspire our youth,” Kharpran, who was one of the Indian boxing contingent’s coaches at the recent Asian Games in China, added.

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