Deja vu for Vijender as final Olympic qualifiers inch closer
New Delhi: It`s yesterday once more for Indian boxing`s pin-up boy Vijender Singh. The 26-year-old, whose name was indelibly etched in the annals of Indian boxing`s history after the Beijing Olympics bronze medal in 2008, has not yet qualified for the July-August London edition.
A situation all too familiar for the dashing Haryana-lad. "It`s the kind of time during which your mood fluctuates all the time. Sometimes you feel strongly motivated to do well and prove the naysayers wrong, sometimes very low about what will happen," Vijender said.
The middleweight boxer lost in the opening round of the first Olympic Qualifying event -- last year`s World Championships in Azerbaijan -- which has left him with just one more chance to make the cut for the big event. Before the Beijing Games too, Vijender had failed to qualify in two attempts but with his back against the wall, he didn`t just make the grade in the third and final qualifying event but also won a gold medal.
At the April qualifiers for London, the middleweight (75kg) category has four Olympic slots on offer.
"I know it`s my last chance to qualify but that`s ok. It doesn`t bother me as I am confident, I will make it. I will have to reach at least the semifinals to get the Olympic berth, I can do that," said the strapping six-footer. And in times when his confidence wavers, Vijender said there is always help at hand.
"I just have to fold my hands in prayer. The almighty who brought me this far will also take me beyond. I always have that faith, it keeps me going in tough times," Vijender said. But divine intervention don`t get medals and the World Championships bronze-medallist is therefore doing his bit as well by sweating it out sparring and working out at NIS Patiala.
"Right now, the focus is on power and endurance. These are the areas I am working on. Overall, my game remains the same, I don`t intend to make any technical changes, it doesn`t make sense," he said.
Vijender, in fact, is so satisfied with the training that he is undergoing in Patiala that he doesn`t intend to take part in any of the two exposure trips abroad planned next month.
The Indian boxers are scheduled to head to Germany and Czech Republic next month for Olympic preparations but for Vijender there is no place like home.
"These foreign trips actually disturb the rhythm at least in my case. Like I went to World Police Games before the World Championships and it affected my rhythm. "It`s better to train in Patiala and then head to the competition. I am an experienced boxer, I don`t think acclimatisation is a problem for me," he signed off.