Training at city centre, Bhiwani pugilist wins first international medal

Kailash Gill

Four years ago when Kailash Gill moved to Chandigarh from Bhiwani at the insistence of his uncle Dharamveer Singh, who is Haryana's chief parliamentary secretary, the youngster had reservations about staying in the hostel. On Sunday, after winning the silver medal in the 75 kg category in the A Agalorav Cup held in Baku, Azerbaijan, the youngster must not be having any regrets about the decision to move from Bhiwani, a boxing nursery.

For the 18-year-old, the silver medal comes after a successful run in the Indian junior circuit. Although he lost 0-5 to Uzbekistan's Zakirov Roman in the final, he believes big things lie ahead for him.

"It's my first international medal and I am happy with my performance. Even though I lost in the final, it was a morale-boosting performance for me. The category saw participation of 35 top-ranked junior boxers from Europe and Asia. It was cold in Azerbaijan and it took us some time to adjust. But the wins over Azerbaijan boxer in the first round and Georgia's Amir Chopurov made me confident," Gill told Chandigarh Newsline on the phone from Delhi.

The youngster originally belongs to Ladhwas village near Bhiwani and joined the Sector 42 Boxing Training Centre in 2008 under coach Balkar Singh. He won the gold medal in the 64 kg category in the sub-junior nationals in 2009 before winning the gold medal in the junior nationals in 2010 in Chennai. The next year saw him win another gold medal in the junior nationals in Pune. The pugilist followed that performance with a silver medal in the junior nationals held in Patiala early this year.

"It was good to win medals early in my career. The sub-junior gold medal proved that I can win medals in the domestic tournaments. Once I shifted to the junior category, more medals came my way. I was chosen for the youth national camp. Training along with boxers like L Prasad under coach G Manoharan has helped me raise my game. It was an emotional moment for me when I was chosen for the Agalorov Cup," says Gill, who was a student of SD Public School, Sector 32, and now plans to continue college education in Chandigarh.

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