Thai boxers go for gold

Thailand's boxers are expected to take several titles at the Asian Games.

    Manus Boonjumnong, Olympic boxing champion, hopes to pick up another gold medal at next month's Asian Games.

     

    Light-welterweight champion Boonjumnong, 26, headlines a Thai contingent of boxers expected to do well in Doha.

     

    He spent the past two months in Cuba to help prepare for the games. Thaweep Jantaroj, president of the Thai Amateur Boxing Association, believed his training had helped him focus after two years away from the sport.

     

    Worapoj Petchkoom, Olympic bantamweight silver medallist and Suriya Prasathinphimai, Olympic middleweight bronze medallist, are also in the Thai team of eight boxers for the games.

     

    Confidence

     

    The team includes flyweight veteran Somjit Jongjohor, who won Thailand's lone gold medal at the last Asian Games four years ago in Busan.

     

    "In my opinion, if we get a favourable draw, we should reach the finals in six events - 48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 60kg, 64kg and 75kg," Thaweep predicted.

     

    "I'm confident we will win at least three gold medals."

     

    Thailand's main challenge is expected to come from Kazakhstan, which dominated the Asian Junior Boxing Championships last month, taking seven of the 11 golds on offer.

     

    Uzbekistan, South Korea, India and Pakistan are also expected to feature.

     

    Pakistan has sent its 12-man boxing team to Russia, which has a well respected boxing heritage, to train ahead of the games.

     

    Pakistani welterweight Nisar Khan has been tipped as a gold medal contender for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    SOURCE: AFP


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