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To shape budding talent in the country, the government World Youth Boxing bronze medallist boxer Bhavesh Kattimani is convinced that government should conduct more such events like Khelo India Youth Games to shape budding talent.
“Along with proper training and hard work, a player is required to evaluate his or her progress and learn from mistakes. Therefore, competing in more tournaments is necessary. You can try out new things, new strategies and then polish is further for the next event. That’s the mantra for success,” says the Maharashtra boxer, who earned a bronze at the 2018 World Youth Championships in Budapest.
Kattimani, who was inspired to take up the sport after seeing his sister, at the age of 11, has been training at Army Sports Institute here in Pune for the last three years and gives credit to the institute for his success.
“I was nothing when I entered ASI. But the coaches and support staff worked on me relentlessly. It was all-round development including technique, fitness and mental strength. Whatever I am today is only because of ASI,” adds Kattimani.
After joining ASI in 2016, Bhavesh won a junior national gold medal the very next year. The same year, he appeared in his first international – the Asian Junior Boxing in the Philippines and returned with a 52kg bronze medal. He was also part of the India team at the Invitational Boxing tournament in Germany where he won a gold medal and the best boxer award.
The 18-year-old was considered among the top favourites to qualify for the Youth Olympics last year in Buenos Aires, but missed out the opportunity.
“I was under the impression that winning a medal in the Asian and World Youths will get me through. But, later I learned that I was also required to win a medal in continental competition. Sadly, only one boxer from India participated in the Youth Olympics,” he said.
Failure a step to success
He was 11 when he was first attracted to boxing. “I wasn’t much into the sport, but one day I saw everybody praising my elder sister (Bhavana) for getting selected in the district team. So, to grab attention, I decided to take up boxing and next day I went to our physical teacher in school and told him that I also want to become a boxer.”
“After training for few months, I participated in a local tournament and lost my first-ever bout. I was not able to forget that humiliating defeat and my mind got occupied with just one thing – that I have to train more and become a better boxer. I feel that loss was the turning point as it ignited the hunger for success,” he said.
The effort and determination has paid and Kattimani now seeks more.