Mission Olympics: Vijender & Co. ready to exchange some hard punches in London

Vijender Singh created history by winning the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and by doing that became the first Indian boxer to win a medal at the Olympics. Vijender Singh has since become a household name and the poster boy of the sport in the country. The sport which was struggling to find its feat in the country dominated by team sports, has started to make its own mark. Boxing as a sport has grown in stature in the country and a lot is expected from our boxers in the upcoming London Olympics.

Vijender Singh, who revolutionized the sport in our country, believes that the bronze medal brought a big change in the sport. He recently said, “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.”

His words are appropriate as the Indian boxing contingent is the biggest ever that will participate in Olympics. There are seven male boxers and for the first time one female Indian boxer will compete in the biggest sporting event in the world.

Devendro Singh (49kg), Shiva Thapa ((56kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar(64kg), Vikas Krishan Yadav (69kg), Vijender Singh (75kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg) will lead the charge in the men’s category and legendary boxer MC Mary Kom will participate in the women's 51kg category.
It is not about the number of boxers that will enhance India’s chances of winning a medal but the quality that each one of them possesses. All of them are confident ahead of the games and have earned their place in the Olympic team.

Vijender Singh will lead the Indian team and his role will be to mentor the first timers. Vijender will be participating in his third Olympics and is the only boxer in the team who has the experience of battling it out in the biggest event. The bronze medallist in the Beijing Olympics is also India`s first World Championships medallist and a lot will depend on him.

MC Mary Kom is also a big contender from India to win a medal at London Olympics, the five time world champion has been remarkable over the past one decade and she finally has got a chance to prove her worth in the biggest sporting event of them all. She may have been lucky in qualifying for the Olympics, but that has not had any effect on what is expected from this great champion.
Vikas Krishan is also a strong contender for bagging a medal as he has done well in almost all the tournaments in which he has participated. Krishan won the Youth Olympics medal, World Youth title, and the 2010 Asian Games gold. He is also the only boxer after Vijender to win a bronze in the world championship. Krishan is confident going into the Olympics and has said that he will treat it as just another tournament.

Shiva Thapa is one of the youngest boxers in the team but there are high hopes on his young shoulders. Thapa won the gold medal in the Asian qualifying event to qualify for the London Olympics and that proves his metal. Before that he has won silver medal in Czech Republic Grand Prix.

Devendro Singh is also quite confident ahead of the Olympics, he said that he is ready for the challenge and he has beaten some of the boxers who will fight against him in London. Devendro also said that training in Ireland has helped him a lot and he is ready to unleash his counter-punches.
Sumit Sangwan won the gold medal in Asian qualifiers to qualify for the London Olympics and the 19-year-old with his strong resilience will have a good chance in the games.

Jai Bhagwan is quite experienced and has two Asian championship medal to his name. Jai’s experience of playing at big stages might come in handy for him. He has a strong will and has the ability to make a comeback from any stage.

Manoj Kumar like Jai Bhagwan is very experienced and has tasted success before. He is a Commonwealth Games gold medallist and has beaten some very good boxers before.

The most important thing in the boxing team is the attitude with which they are going into the tournament. Almost all the boxers have said that they are not going at the Olympics to participate, but they are going there to win a medal. People are expecting 2-3 medals from our boxing team and going by the talent that our boxers possess the expectations look fairly reasonable.

By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News Network