Former Asian Games gold-medallist Dingko Singh’s induction was the only major addition in what was otherwise a minor rejig of the Indian Boxing’s National Selection Panel to be headed by Arjuna awardee Gopal N Devang.
The 10-member panel will remain in office till next year and has a few Boxing India officials and all the national coaches as additional invitees.
Dingko, who faded into oblivion after his spectacular Asian Games triumph in 1998, is currently working as a coach at the Imphal centre of the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
“I am looking forward to this new role, I had conveyed to federation that I wanted to take up the selector’s position as it is a step forward for me,” Dingko told PTI from Imphal.
“The current set of Indian boxers are doing well internationally and I, as a selector, would try to ensure that we keep getting a good supply of talent,” he said.
The mercurial former star had hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons last year when he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman weightlifter at the SAI center.
“That matter is still in court, I don’t want to comment on it,” he said.
The rest of the selection committee has not been tinkered with too much. While former Asian medallist Devang will head it, India’s first Asian Games gold-medallist Padam Bahadur Mall has been appointed its vice-President.
The country’s first Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Mohammad Ali Qamar has been named the Convener of the panel, with Manoj Pingale and former World Cup bronze-medallist V Devarajan named the Joint Secretaries.
Dingko said the goal of the panel will be to pick a bunch that can deliver medals at the Olympics.
“We have to ensure that Olympic medals keep coming and the selection committee will play a huge role in ensuring that the right guys are there in the squad,” he said.
Boxing India vice-Presidents Kishen Narsi and Jaipal Singh are among the invited members of the committee.