Sports

Amit Panghal dedicates medal to Pulwama martyrs

Amit Panghal dedicates medal to Pulwama martyrs
Boxer Amit Panghal poses with his gold medal secured at the 70th Strandja Memorial tournament, in Sopia, Bulgaria, Tuesday. (PTI)
New Delhi, Feb 20 (PTI): | Publish Date: 2/21/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

Amit Panghal, the Indian boxer, has dedicated his gold medal won at the Strandja Memorial tourney to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel who lost their lives in the terrorist attack in Pulwama. “It hurt a little bit more because I belong to the armed forces,” Panghal said, referring to the incident on February 14, 2019. Panghal, a gold-medallist at the Asian Games, ensured a second consecutive top finish at one of Europe’s oldest boxing competitions on Tuesday night; he out-punched Kazakhstan’s Temirtas Zhussupov in the summit clash in Sofia, Bulgaria. With the win, he became India’s lone male boxer to claim a medal at the tourney.

 “I was desperate for a medal because I wanted to dedicate it to the heroes who lost their lives in Pulwama. This was my mindset the moment I got to know of the attack after landing here,” Panghal told PTI.

“I was in touch with my family members during the tournament and they also told me that I had to win a medal in honour of the Pulwama martyrs. I was doubly motivated by this thought,” Panghal added.

He wasn’t the only boxer to dedicate his medal to the slain CRPF personnel. He was joined by Nikhat Zareen, who won gold in the women’s 51kg category. Overall, India won seven medals — three gold, a silver, and three bronze medals. Panghal elaborated his difficulties in the run-up to the main draw. “It was difficult to get the right weight because of the cold here. So, I went to bed hungry for a couple of days, trained the next morning to ensure that I was ready at the time of weigh-in on the day of draws,” he said. “It was tough but worth every bit of the trouble because in the end, I could accomplish what I wanted,” he added, referring to the sub-zero temperatures in Sofia which made it difficult to shed weight.

Panghal admitted the competition he faced this time was a notch higher than in 2018. “Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine fielded their strongest line-ups. This was not the case last time. The guy I fought in the final was the bronze-medallist from the Asian Games last year and had won in India during a World Series of Boxing bout. I had not fought with him earlier as he was not in my half during the Asian Games but I knew I could do it,” he said.

 

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