Vikas Krishan Yadav is an Indian boxer from Haryana who will be competing in his second Olympics. He will be taking part in the 75 kg middleweight category at 2.30 am IST on 10th August, 2016.
The boxer recently stated that he is inspired by the medal already achieved by Vijender Singh in the middleweight (75 kg) category. Ahead of his fight in Rio tonight, Yadav is looking to trash all that is in the past and give it his best this time around.
Here are 7 interesting things that you should know about the boxer:
1. Vikas competes under the middleweight category, the same category in which Vijender Singh of India won a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The JSW Sports Excellence Program athlete is ranked 4th overall in his weight category (75 kg) by the latest world rankings released by the International Boxing Federation (AIBA).
2. Following in the footsteps of his dad Krishnan Kumar, who is an employee in the Electricity Department, Yadav too currently is an employee of the Haryana State Electricity Board. He completed his education from Kurukshetra University and now is a father of 2 young boys.
3. In 2003, at the tender age of 10, Yadav enrolled himself in the famed Bhiwani Boxing Club, the same club where Vijender Singh and Akhil Kumar trained. His initial training and grooming as a boxer started off in that club. However, in order to grow and continuously challenge himself, Yadav later received training at the Army Sports Institute in Pune.
4. At the 2012 London Olympics, the JSW Sports Excellence Program pugilist was the subject of a controversial verdict. He was knocked out from the preliminary round despite initially being declared the winner with 13:11. Yadav’s opponent, Errol Spence of USA appealed to the Amateur International Boxing Association with claims that the referee of the match between the two failed to notice Yadav’s fouls.
After the appeal was successful, India lodged a counter appeal, which failed. The case was then taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), where India’s attempts were again cut short.
5. Filled with regret over the events of the 2012 London Olympics, Yadav took a break for over a year from boxing - the sport he had been pursuing for 11 years. During that time, he completed his police training and got married.
“I was upset about what happened in London and I think I needed to take time off from the sport. It was a relief that you could get up late in the morning and not worry about going to train,” he says.
6. Yadav realized that his drop in form after the London Olympics was due to incompetent challenges and competition in his usual training routine. He stressed upon his inability to counter boxers considerably heavier than him.
Apropos, he trained in the USA for a month where he worked alongside professionals. He believes that the training he received there while working with heavy punching prizefighters has honed his game and prepared him for the Olympics.
7. Vikas has competed in several tournaments around the world. Owing to rampant corruption in elections, the world body, AIBA, suspended the Indian boxing body, Indian Amateur Boxing Federation, in 2012. Due to this, Yadav travelled and won medals at competitions without ‘India’ printed on his uniform. He has since competed at the World and Asian Championships under the AIBA flag.