New Delhi: A first-round defeat in the Commonwealth Games hit him so badly that Indian boxer Manpreet Singh lost the will to continue before psychatric sessions at NIS Patiala revived his confidence and "guided" him to a silver medal at the just-concluded Asian Games.
The imposing heavyweight 91kg boxer, who returned from Guangzhou with the rest of the team last night, lost in the very first round of the CWG after being handed a couple of warnings and so shattering was the setback, that it took a psychatrist to lift him.
”I was so disappointed that I did not stop crying for days. My confidence had been shaken to such an extent that I could only think negative. Then my coaches took me to the NIS psychatrist, who first took a test in which all my negativity came out. It was a cleansing experience," the 23-year-old said.
"Then I was asked to close my eyes and think of all the good things that have happened to me. During sessions I was asked to take a long breath and say it aloud that I am going to win a gold medal. It lifted my morale," added the former wrestler.
"The result was that I took a nothing-to-lose approach in the Asiad and fought with a calm mind, which helped me achieve what I have achieved."
And the therapy worked as Manpreet defeated a Chinese and a Tajik boxer to enter the finals where he lost to a Syrian after fitghting with an injured hand.
His coaches also recalled the tough time they had in getting Manpreet to believe in himself just a month ahead of an event of such huge magnitude.
"He is an emotional boy. So he took the CWG loss very badly. The entire support staff had to get behind him and make him start thinking positive again," said C Ramanand, one of the four coaches who accompanied the team.
The Army Sports Institute product, who is part of the Four Sikh Unit, is now hoping to get a promotion for his Asiad feat.