NEW DELHI: India is under lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped Olympic-bound star boxer Amit Panghal from practising and follow his daily routine. He gets up early in the morning, sanitises his gloves, follows the instructed diet chart and starts his day in full throttle. He doesn’t have sparring partners now as he trains inside his house in Rohtak.
“Coronavirus hasn’t affected my courage and determination. I can’t go out but I am practicing much and much more in my house. My family does not bother me when I practice. I don’t get a chance to interact with my fellow boxers now (in person) and I utilise that time to follow my training regime,” Panghal told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
“After every hour, I ensure I wash my hands properly and then sanitise them too. This is the top most thing in my everyday tasks. I have installed sanitiser dispensers in my house and in my training hall as well. I just want to be prepared for every challenge,” Panghal said.
The 24-year-old, who won a silver medal at the World Championships last year, is a big medal contender at the Tokyo Olympics. He has been instructed by the boxing federation to not train outside and take proper measures against the fast-spreading COVID-19.
“I have been asked to take proper rest and be at home due to Coronavirus but I need to be fit as well. When you go out for training, you are automatically involved in physical activities but when you are home and that too for an indefinite period, you need to give yourself more and more time in the ring and gym,” Panghal said.
“I have got a ring made in my house’s hall and I train there. I go on my house’s roof and exercise there. Apart from this, I am focusing more on yoga. This gives me mental strength and helps me focus on my goals,” the Indian boxer said.
“This is a challenging period for me and every sports person, but I just don’t want to leave a single stone unturned. When things will be fine and I will go out for a bout, I should see myself as a perfectly-fit Amit Panghal,” the 2018 Asian Games gold medallist told TimesofIndia.com.
With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) mulling the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, Panghal says the health and well being of athletes should be the first priority.
“As far as I know, the Olympics may get postponed to December. This is the information I have for now. Health should be first priority for my country right now. I want this virus to be finished as soon as possible. May life come to normal as soon as possible. This is very important for now. I really wish Olympics do happen this year itself, because we boxers are in form and at our peak. But even if it gets postponed, I will always be ready for any challenge,” Panghal said.
“All I want to say…
Apna bachaw karo, doosro ka bachaw khud ho jayega. Handwash karo aur and please ghar pe raho (Focus on your own well being and everyone will remain safe. Stay at home and do proper hand wash),” Panghal said.
At a time when the fate of the Tokyo Olympics is up in the air, Panghal is just trying to stay focused on his goal of winning an Olympic medal, whenever the Games are eventually held.
“I know there are lots of expectations from me and I am confident that I will live up to those expectations. I will give my 100 percent at the Olympics. You feel good when you do something big for your country. My country has given me a lot and I also want to give my country something in return. I am sure of winning a medal at the Olympics. People always remember an Olympic medallist and I want to be on that list,” he said.
“Asian Championships was a huge learning experience for me. I won against those boxers who defeated me in the past. And I will give the credit to my planning against each and every boxer. I sit and watch boxers’ videos and plan accordingly. I executed those plans in the ring and that worked really well in my favour. Apart from your training and determination, planning is very important to win a bout,” Panghal signed off.