Silver medalist in the nationals, Can Virender make it to the Asian Games?

Sundernagar, The Hush Post: After Bhagat Singh, the man who won gold in National Boxing championship in 1991 for Himachal Pradesh, 25-year-old Virender Thakur is a new ray of hope for boxing in the state. The heavyweight boxer from Bobar village in Sundernagar, won a silver medal in the just-concluded second National Boxing Championship at Visakhapatnam. Thakur reached the 91kg category final but lost to Haryana’s Naman in the gold-medal bout. In the semis, he beat Meghalaya’s Kishan Thapa 4-1. The 25-year-old boxer said, “I am now looking forward to doing well in the national camp and improving my game further.” This is his second consecutive medal in the boxing nationals — the heavyweight boxer had won a silver medal in 2016 in Guwahati. Now the question is, can he make the cut for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta?

Sundernagar is known to be the nursery of boxers in Himachal for close to 30 years now. Boxers from here dominate all the inter-college competitions and selections for the national level competitions. Virender Thakur’s silver winning effort comes a year after another fellow boxer from the state Geetanand won bronze medal in the 2016 Nationals in Guwahati. A year before that Ashish Chaudhary in the 75kg category, also from Sundernagar, had won a gold medal at the 35th National Games held in Kerala.

Thakur is a student of Sundernagar’s Maharaja Lakshman Sen Memorial College, and took up boxing seriously after winning the gold medal at a junior national competition in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, in 2008. His coach Naresh Thakur has been instrumental in honing his skills after which, Virender joined the Indian army and but continued the game.