The Indian boxing fraternity is showing mixed reactions to the change in weight categories in women’s and men’s boxing for the next Olympics, scheduled to be held in Tokyo in 2020.  The International Olympic Council has decided to increase weight categories for women and decrease the men’s weight categories.

Now, women boxers will have five weight categories — 51kg, 57kg, 60kg, 69kg and 75kg as opposed to the earlier three categories. Two more categories have ben introduced to bring in gender equality in the game.

“It is a good decision and gives us a lot of room as far as a shot at medals is concerned. Girls, who were straining themselves to fit into the previous three weight categories, can now ease up a bit and make it in their natural weight categories,” chief coach for women, Gurbax Singh Sandhu, told PTI. “India will definitely benefit from this as women’s boxing is continuing to grow in the country.”

However, men’s boxing will lose two categories out of the eight. But the IOC is yet to decide which two categories will be removed.

India’s Swedish men’s boxing coach Santiago Nieva has shown discontent with the IOC’s decision of scrapping off two categories from men’s boxing, though he expressed happiness about increasing categories in women’s boxing.

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“Strictly from the perspective of being the men’s coach, this is a body blow. We don’t yet know which two weight categories are being dropped, but imagine if it is a strong one for us,” Nieva said, as quoted by Indian Express.

“I didn’t expect two weight categories to be dropped, I was hoping they would drop one. But it’s good for women, I am happy they are getting their due. But let’s see how things shape up finally,” he added.

Mary Kom, legendary Olympic bronze medallist in London Olympics of 2012, is content with the IOC’s decision. She fought in the 48 kg weight category, which is not going to be there in Tokyo Olympics, but she is fine with it and says that she will make adjustments accordingly.

“I can adjust to this. For now, I will be competing in the 48 kg category because my plan is finalised for the Asian Championships this year and the Commonwealth Games next year. But yes, the IOC has taken a decision and we will have to go by it, so I will make adjustments,” Mary Kom said.

Picture credit- Sports Keeda

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