Olympic qualifying boost for boxer Vikas Krishan
The Indian middleweight star will get an additional opportunity to book his place for Rio.
With time running out for the Indian men boxing contingent to have a robust representation at the 2016 Rio Olympics, ace boxer Vikas Krishan gets a much-needed shot in the arm as far as qualifying for the Olympics is concerned. The upcoming World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan, was seen as the final hope for the country’s pugilists to make it to the Rio Olympics.
But the former bronze medallist from the World Championships, Vikas Krishan has ‘additional buffer’ unlike the other members of the Baku-bound squad. The sturdy Haryana lad will feature in the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) where he will box against Kenya’s Nickson Abaka, a former World Milliary Games bronze-medallist on June 11 in Delhi. His success in the APB would ensure he can take part in the final Olympic Qualifiers to be held in Venezuela in July, where pro boxers from all over the world would be participating.
The point is – if Vikas qualifies from the upcoming Baku event, then the Venezuela qualifiers will not have any significance for him but yes, if he fails to make it to the Rio Olympics via the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Baku, then he will still have one more opportunity left at Olympic qualification.
There is a general feeling that Vikas, the world number six in the middleweight category, should make it easily from the Baku tournament. But then again, rankings don’t count much in world boxing as we saw how Vikas was stunningly defeated in the first round of the last Olympic qualifiers held in China. One can well sum it up as one bad day in the office for Vikas as far as the China event is concerned.
The good thing about the upcoming World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan is that the top five in the middleweight category will make the Olympic cut. One would not expect an early exit from Vikas at Baku as he knows the expectations of the boxing fans and will like to put his best foot forward in Baku. Clearly, five berths in the middleweight category give all of us a comforting feeling that Vikas really has a good chance of qualifying from the Baku event.
As per the APB rules, Vikas has to play in two bouts to be eligible for participation for the Venezuela qualifiers and irrespective of whether he wins or loses the June 11 bout, which is being day before the India team leave for Baku, the biggest positive is that the youngsters will have two opportunities to make the Olympic cut but the gut feeling is he will make it from the Baku event itself.