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Eyeing Paris Olympics quota, CWG medallist Jaismine working on mental acuity

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist boxer Jaismine Lamboria is working on increasing her mental acuity as well as sharpening her punches as she eyes a coveted Paris Olympic quota.

The talented boxer ended her debut Asian Games campaign on an anti-climactic note earlier this year. Having won the first round in dominant fashion, Jaismine seemingly had a brain fade moment after she was given a warning, with referee eventually forced to stop the 60kg quarterfinal bout.

“I was given a warning, counting for the first time. So, I was not able to handle it. My mind just went blank. It is important to know how to come back from such a situation which I didn’t,” Jaismine told PTI after winning her quarterfinal bout at the National Championships on Monday.

A win would have not only fetched her a medal but also a Paris Olympics quota.

READ | Behind Jaismine Lamboria’s rise to CWG boxing team are her national champion unclesa

“After that Asian Games bout, coaches told me to work on the mental aspect. I am working with a psychologist. He has told me to work on visualisation and do meditation,” she added.

The 22-year-old cruised to the National Championships semifinal in the 60kg category, which is one of the two women’s weight classes where India is yet to seal a quota.

A top-three finish at the Nationals will ensure a return to the national camp for Jaismine, where she has been a regular for the past two years.

Jaismine has come a long way since competing in her debut World Championships in 2022. From someone who used to only counterattack, she has learnt to be the aggressor.

“There has been progress, I am learning a lot of things, I try and work on my weaknesses. My game is getting better with time. Par ek dum se nahi aa raha, time lag raha hai (I am not able to win medals, it’s taking time),” rued Jaismine.

Mera quarterfinal mei reh jata hai (I end up losing in the quarterfinals),” she added, having lost in the last-eight stage both in the World Championships and the Asian Games.

Last year, Jaismine had become the first female boxer to be inducted into the Indian Army. At the Services camp, she trains and spars with male boxers to increase the power of her punches.

“I am working on my mistakes from before. I prefer back-peddling but my Services coaches tell me to not just rely on that and go ahead and attack.

“I train with the boys during the Services camp. It improves my game and strength. There are only three girls in the camp, so coaches pay a lot of attention to what we should do and should not do.”

Under Boxing Federation of India’s (BFI) new selection process, Jaimsine had always topped the charts in the 60kg weight division.

“Dimitry (Dmitruk) sir and Bernard (Dunne) sir also tell me to connect punches and go ahead and attack and build pressure. At the same time, be ready for counter attack,” she adds.

The top-three boxers in 60kg will move to the national camp where they will undergo an assessment, based on which a pugilist will be selected for the next Olympic qualifier, which is slated to take place in Busto Arsizio, Italy from February 29 to March 12.

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