A country’s first individual Olympic gold medal in a particular sport. We are still apprehensive about Abhinav Bindra’s lively performance in the shooting range during the 2008 Beijing Games, which culminated in the men’s 10m air rifle gold. India’s first personal title created ripples of joy across the country.
Boxing officer Kishen Narcissus recalls a similar path-breaking moment during 1992 in Barcelona. Welterweight fighter Michael Garruth (red corner) won Ireland’s first boxing gold by defeating Juan Hernandez (blue corner) of Cuba in the final. The Indian made the match official, raised the boxer’s hand to mark a famous victory and then watched the champion leap in ecstasy as the feeling subsided. “After the verdict was announced he jumped up and down around the ring, which means it shows what a victory it is. This photo made the front page of newspapers in Ireland.”
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The Barcelona appointment is his third Olympic appearance as a referee (after 1984 Los Angeles, 1988 Seoul). “I did the finals every time.” When Vijender Singh captured India’s first boxing medal (middleweight class bronze), Narsi was appointed a member of the International Technical Authority (ITO) Jury for Beijing in 2008.
Four years later Mary Kom won a bronze medal in the flyweight class on stage in London, watched by a fellow Indian from a distance, and was appointed head of the jury at the boxing world organization AIBA. “After the medal ceremony, she came to where I was standing, congratulations continued, for which I got a rap. We were not allowed to interact with the contestants, especially not with the Indian boxer.” London had a substantial Indian presence on the stand, so the celebrations continued for some time.
He was not in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro. Now 81, Narcissus, who is physically and mentally active due to walking and the online bridge, provides expertise and experience via webinars to boxing officials involved in hosting the 2021 Tokyo tournament. “The discussions are about the functional area,” he says in his capacity as President of the Tournament (Asia). One of the Mary Kom fighters, chases the flying weight medal in a different color. He is the senior in the nine-man squad, which includes both men and women. “Mary Kom is one of the (seventh) seeds in her division, she can do it. She fought well in the semi-finals in London and may have gone all the way, but she was inspired to meet Nicola Adams of England. Fighting with a local boxer in London was not easy (Nicola won gold and made headlines ). ”
Speaking from his home in Mumbai, the former Bombay University boxer, who covers the World Cups and the Asian Games, spoke about the impact of Vijender’s breakthrough in Beijing. Five boxers represented India in the 2008 tournament.
“The starting point for success was the practice followed for the selection which included five competitive weight categories. As a result of the training system, four boxers (Vijender, Akhil Kumar, Jitender Kumar, Dinesh Kumar) from Haryana were jalling as a team and Andesh Lakra was the fifth boxer to support each other. They won every round. Akhil worked hard with a chip on his shoulder. He defeated the world champion (Sergei Vodobyanov) of Russia in the second round and boosted the confidence of the team’s players before going out to the quarterfinals. ”
Narcissus recalls: “Jitender defeated an Uzbek enemy (Tulashboi)
Toniorov) was previously considered the record for a boxer from India. The Indian camp became excited as a result of Akhil winning the Russian World Champion. How far Vijender Singh can go is a question. Abhinav Bindra won the shooting gold while Sushil Kumar won the bronze in wrestling as he reached the semifinals against the Cuban boxer (Emilio Korea). Vijender entered the ring in this mood among the Indians throughout the game. He lost the hard-fought competition and returned with his first Olympic boxing medal. India has progressed since then. “There will be nine fighters in Tokyo, of whom Asian champion Flyweight Amit Bangal is ranked number one in the world in the 52 kg category.
Boxing at the Olympics has escaped chaotic moments, from bustle to bout judgments and amendments to the rules. At the same time, the sport rose in television ratings due to the performance of amateur fighters, and the popularity gained in the Olympic ring attracted advertisers to attract these gold medal winners. Boxers competing for medals will not wear a safety helmet on the ring. The Tokyo Games take place when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspends AIPA, the sport’s global body, over various allegations, ethics and finances. Important decisions are made by a boxing task force set up in 2019. Speaking of controversial ring results from the past, Narcissus recalls a mild heavyweight match in LA in 1984, which left a bitter taste.
He recalled: “Yuvoslav referee (Kligorizhi Novicic) Evander Holyfield was disqualified and he decided on the basis of a low blow to his rival (New Zealander Kevin Barry). Then came the knowledge of all those who had won the Holyfield, and his next opponent for the gold medal was the referee’s native (bomber) (Anton Josipovic), who was crowned champion without a fight (American was disqualified and rejected for medical reasons after New Zealand was knocked out). Holyfield was awarded bronze.
This decision was not well received by the Americans. “It simply came to our notice then. Josipovic urged the American, who wore the lightweight heavyweight bronze medal, to join him on stage after the ceremony. Holyfield became famous at home for showing tranquility in spite of an unreasonable decision, which soon became pro-rage and provoked as a heavyweight.
The first look at Narcissus’ sport came in 1976, when he traveled to Canada as a tourist to watch boxing activities in Montreal. “Captain Asby Adzania (later Secretary of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation) I bought tickets for various events. There were 11 weight classes in boxing at the time. The most popular names we saw were Cuba’s heavyweight Difflo Stevenson, and America’s light welder Ray Leonard (nicknamed Sugar Ray Leonard). We traveled to the Olympics on official trips from 1984-1992, avoiding Moscow in 1980 due to neglect. ”
Captain Adjania, who was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution to the Indian sport, served in various top roles in the AIBA and died in 1994. The former was only a sports fan in Sydney in the 2000s when he saw Kurcharan Singh miss a light heavyweight bronze. Judgment in the quarter-tie-break. Eight years later, targeting Bindra, Vijender opened India’s medal tally in the ring in Beijing, competing in Rio before joining the pro teams.
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