India’s medal hope in men’s boxing at the Tokyo Olympics, Ashish Kumar tested positive for Covid-19 last month during an international boxing competition in the Spanish city of Castellon. The 75kg category boxer, however, says he is on road to recovery. “I can say that I’ve regained 50 per cent of my fitness. It might take a fortnight before I can resume training at full throttle,” the 26-year-old boxer told IANS. The international tournament at Castellon from March 1 to 7 was part of the build-up for Tokyo Olympics. Eight men and six women pugilists were part of the 14-member national squad that travelled to Castellon. Out of the squad of 14, nine have qualified for the Olympics – five in men and four in women’s section.
The 2019 Asian Championships silver-medallist from Sundernagar in Himachal Pradesh returned from Spain only last week where he had to undergo quarantine. “I’m at home now. But my focus is the Tokyo Olympics. I want to stay healthy and fit to give my best in Japan,” he said of his future plans.
His immediate plan is to join the national camp in Patiala next week. “Right now, I am doing normal training for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. But I will resume vigorous training when I join the camp,” he added.
The tournament in Spain was his third international exposure tour since December 2020. “Overall, it was a good experience to compete with leading boxers from Europe. But I missed the final bout due to infection,” he added.
Kumar says he had mild throat pain and fever for two days. “That was all. After that, it was okay. During quarantine in Spain, I used to do general training to keep myself busy. There wasn’t any loss in appetite,” he revealed.
His next target is a podium finish at the Asian Championships in May. “A good performance ahead of the Tokyo Olympics will be a big boost to my confidence,” he said.