NEW DELHI: Having worked extensively with an ‘athlete-first’ approach while developing Indian boxing during his first tenure from 2016 to 2020, Ajay Singh has been elected as the President of Boxing Federation of India (BFI) for the second consecutive term on Wednesday.
During the elections held in a city hotel in Gurugram on Wednesday, Ajay Singh defeated challenger Ashish Shelar by a margin of 10 votes as he won 37-27 in the final count.
“I thank all my colleagues and State Member Units for their support and belief in me and the team. I am happy that BFI has reposed faith in me. I hope to live up to the expectations and continue to take boxing to greater heights, said Ajay Singh after the elections. “It is great credit to all of us that this election was conducted so peacefully. We are one family, we will work towards glory of our sport.”
Hemanta Kumar Kalita secured 39 votes against CV Raje (25) to join Ajay Singh as Secretary General while Digvijay Singh secured the post of Treasurer with 33 votes against Anil Mishra (30). The elections took place in the presence of AIBA and IOA observers Yury Zaystsev and Rakesh Gupta.
Indian boxing has seen an exponential rise with the country’s boxers producing medal-winning performances consistently, including over 630 medals, in the last four years. India emerged as Top-10 in the world boxing ranking and is considered a global powerhouse. India has also secured an unprecedented nine quota places for the 2021 Olympic Games and few more are expected from the World Qualifiers which is set to take place in Paris in May.
“Organising the sub-junior championships will be one of our main priorities. Also as you know, in 2024 Olympics it is expected that boxing representations for men and women will be at par, and with Indian women traditionally doing well, we will be focusing to have more women boxers and give them opportunity. It’s very important to also have an equal gender role in the administrative and support staff. We want to encourage more participation of women in every sphere,” he added.
While addressing the media over a virtual press conference, Ajay Singh thanked AIBA for all the support in the last four years and also thanked AIBA President Umar Kremlev for sending an observer in such a short time and said will be looking forward to strengthening the relations further.