Develop attitude of a champion, Nieva tells boxers

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Santiago Nieva, the high performance director of Indian boxing, wants the boxers to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis.

Nieva said boxers should develop the attitude of a champion. “The present situation teaches us the importance of adaptability. Champions are capable of adapting to new situations. We should remain strong and focused. We need to deal with it instead of complaining,” Nieva told The Hindu.

According to Nieva, India, having booked nine quota places in the Tokyo Olympics, has an advantage.

“We are better off than many other countries in Europe and America. We are lucky to have secured a good number of qualifying spots. We just have to refocus when we resume our camp.”

Nieva said given the situation, the boxers’ training was going well. “We are waiting to start our camp properly. Maybe we can do that in a couple of weeks (when the lockdown ends).”

Nieva was happy that Indian boxers were accepting the situation and using their time well. “We have to be positive. We have more time now to prepare, which is excellent.”

Nieva, who conducted an online ‘Train the trainers’ programme for boxing coaches on Friday, said COVID-19 had a role to play.

“Such online courses have been going on internationally by other federations, schools, colleges and universities. This (pandemic) has hurried it (the process of starting here). We need to do this in the future as well,” he said.

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