Mumbai: Gearing up to step into the slot vacated by Vijender Singh, Indian boxer Vikas Krishan underwent a two weeks long foreign exposure trip with the British team ahead of this month's Asian Championships.
Vikas would be India's 75kg contender in the event, replacing Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist Vijender who has turned professional. The 23-year-old pugilist returned from Sheffield, UK, after the 14-day training stint, said a media release.
Krishan, who bagged a bronze in last year's Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, spent time at the English Institute of Sports in Sheffield, Yorkshire, preparing with Britain's boxing team ahead of taking part in the Asian Championship in Bangkok, beginning on August 26,.
The JSW Sports Excellence Programme facilitated the trip to Sheffield for Vikas, allowing the boxer to train with Britain's top-flight amateur boxers. He was accompanied by his long-time coach Jagdeep Hooda.
Krishan is set to kick off his quest to qualify for next year's Rio Olympics in the 75 kg category at the Asian Boxing Championship. He is now busy training at the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala.
The southpaw has been competing in the 75 kg category, having moved up from the 69 kg category in which he reached the pre-quarterfinal stage of the 2012 London Olympics.
Krishan said that it was, perhaps, the best way to prepare for what he termed as a very important tournament with an eye on the Olympics.
"Doing well at the Asian Championships will ensure qualification for Rio 2016. It was necessary to prepare for this in a structured manner and thanks to JSW Sports, I managed to get some fruitful practice in Sheffield. "Sparring with some of the top boxers in the world is always helpful and allows you to make a good assessment of your own preparations, technique and mind-set," said Krishan.
Mustafa Ghouse, CEO of JSW Sports, attributed the reason behind the trip to Krishan gaining access to state-of-the-art training facilities and high quality opposition to spar against.
"It has always been our endeavour here at JSW Sports to give our athletes the very best of avenues for preparation before big international events. Vikas's stint at the Great Britain Boxing team's facility is a continuation of that.
"Giving Vikas the chance to spar with boxers who are strong contenders for spots at the Olympic Games helps him improve in quicker fashion and also allows him a chance to test himself against high quality opposition. I believe that this trip will have helped him gauge his preparation as he goes into the Asian Boxing Championship," he said.