Making the upper cut

Making the upper cut

Talkotra Indoor Stadium

Famous more for hosting concerts and entertainment shows than sports, the Talkatora Indoor Stadium’s status as a sporting venue might change forever after the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The reason is simple—it’s the arena for what is probably the fastest rising sport—boxing. And the stadium has already seen an exciting boxing contingent in action. In the run-up to the Games, the stadium hosted the 2010 Commonwealth Boxing Championship in March, where India made a clean sweep of the medals, finishing as the top team in the competition ahead of Britain. Top Indian boxers Vijender Singh, Suranjoy Singh, Jai Bhagwan, Dinesh Kumar Sangwan, Amanjeet Singh and Paramjeet Samota all won gold in the event that featured 100 boxers from 14 countries. In July, the 2010 Senior National Boxing Championship was also held here.

Also See The Stadium (PDF)

The reconstructed stadium looks somewhat like a science fiction movie set—the flying-saucer like playing arena, flanked by a triangular, five-storey facility block. The playing arena features swanky maple wood flooring, while the facility block will have offices, locker rooms, medical rooms, saunas, canteen, a weigh-in area for boxers, a warm-up zone, cubicles for athletes, massage and physiotherapy rooms as well as a press centre. Athletes will be able to move between the facility block and the boxing arena through a dedicated underground tunnel that is 39.5 ft long.

There’s an environment-friendly side to the venue as well, with 60 solar energy lights being used to illuminate the stadium complex. The lights are programmed to switch on automatically at night and switch off after sunrise. The complex used recycled building material and fly-ash in its renovation, and also features heat reflective glass on its façade and roof. Widespread seepage was reported at the stadium throughout this month raising questions, as usual, about the quality of some of the construction work.

Text by Rudraneil Sengupta; Graphic by Uttam Sharma/Mint