New Delhi – Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Vijender Singh, who remains a medal hope for India at the 2012 London Olympics, Saturday said the country’s boxing future looked bright and the team heading to London was perfect.
Teenage boxers Shiva Thapa (56kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) won gold in their respective categories at the Asian qualifiers in Astana, Kazakhstan and qualified for the London games along with Vijender. Shiva also became the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics.
“The Indian team is perfect right now. The teenagers in the team signify that the India’s boxing future is very bright. They will do really well and I will also try to live up to the pressure and expectations being the senior guy,” Vijender told reporters at a felicitation function where team sponsors, Monnet Group, handed out cash prizes to the boxers, who have qualified for the London Games from the Kazakhstan event.
By securing his berth for London, the 26-year-old boxer reached another milestone as he became the first Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics three times in a row.
A buoyant Vijender told reporters that a huge burden had lifted off his shoulders after he qualified and he had once again regained his confidence after a dip in form.
“The burden is off me, the confidence is back,”
“We have to be realistic as well. Slow and steady wins the race. Last time we got one medal, so we should take it step by step. May be, next Olympics we can aim for four-five medals,” explained Vijender.
Vijender said he would do everything in his power to help out the younger boxers and was ready to don the role of a senior.
“Boxing is an individual sport but we share our individual experiences with each other. They will get whatever support they need from me. I am ready to play the senior role and soak in the pressure,” he said.