Amit Panghal: My coach Anil Dhankar deserves Dronacharya more than me
Being an Asian Games and Asian Championships gold-medallist, he has not been considered for Arjuna award due to a failed dope test back in 2012
New Delhi: Ignored for the Arjuna award due to an "inadvertent" doping violation in 2012, trailblazing Indian boxing ace Amit Panghal (52kg) said he does not care for personal honours but pleaded for a Dronacharya award for his formative coach Anil Dhankar. Panghal became the first Indian boxer to claim a silver medal at the just-concluded World Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia. He is also an Asian Games and Asian Championships gold-medallist. However, he has not been considered for Arjuna award due to a failed dope test back in 2012, for which he served a one-year ban.
The "inadvertent" violation was during the treatment he underwent for chicken pox that year. "I don’t really care for awards for myself but I would be grateful if Anil Dhankar, my formative coach, is considered for the Dronacharya. He has shaped me in my early years and had it not been for him, I would not be the boxer that I am today," Panghal said.
"I began boxing in 2008 and Dhankar sir has been my rock ever since. Even now, it is Dhankar sir that I go to when I need guidance on any matter. An award for him would be an award for me too. In fact, it will make me happier," he said.Dhankar, 45, has never been involved with any of the national teams but was a national level medallist during his time as a boxer.
Panghal, 23, a Naib Subedar in the Indian Army, has been in the form of his life for the last two years despite a change in weight category — from 49kg to 52kg. The next big assignment for him is the Asian Olympic Qualifying tournament in China next February. "I am trying to better myself. Power in punches would be crucial and I am working on that," he said.
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