Want to be known as one who got medals for India: Vijender
New Delhi: He is set to become the first Indian boxer to make it to three Olympics but Beijing Games bronze medallist Vijender Singh says he doesn`t want to be known just as a three-time Olympian but as someone who won medals for the country.
"It obviously feels good, but I just don`t want to be tagged as the one who played three Olympics, but as the one who got medals in two," said Vijender.
The 26-year-old created history when he clinched the bronze at Beijing Games in 2008, and said he is working on his endurance and speed to better his feat this time around.
"I am happy with my preparations so far. We are training hard for the London Games focusing on various aspects of the game, which include endurance and speed training; it involves a lot of running and sprinting among other things," he said.
"Plus we do weight training, shadow boxing and sparring as well. We are heading for a preparatory training camp in Ireland and later have plans to train in London before the Olympics," he added.
Asked if he had to change his game after AIBA changed the points system in 2011, Vijender said: "The scoring system might have changed but boxing has not. Whether one is aggressive or sticks to counter attacks, my aim is to score in any way possible.
"I am looking to gain points, be it through hooks, body blows, shoulder attacks or punches to the face. My game is more or less still the same," he added.
The Bhiwani boxer felt the bronze medal he won four years ago brought about a big change. He is hoping to better his feat in London.
"It was a big change, for me, the sport and the countries outlook towards the sport. It was the first medal in boxing and we really needed something of that sort for the sport.
"Even my fellow boxers` approach changed, everyone started to believe and I think belief makes all the difference. The journey is still going on and with God`s grace will have a few more medals to show for," he added.
Ranked number one in his weight category after Beijing Olympics and the Milan World Championships, Vijender is not even in the top 45 currently.
Asked if the ranking affected him, Vijender said: "See, nothing is permanent. Having said that, it makes a difference to know that you are number one in the world or you are in the top five. But it does not drive my game in any way.
"I was number one in the world at one point of time, now someone else is and maybe someday my name will again feature in the top list. It is a derivative of your performance in some tournaments, that`s how it works."