Tokyo Olympics – Vikas Krishnan is the Biggest Medal Hope in Boxing: Akhil Kumar

The practically man of Indian boxing, Akhil Kumar may have been the poster boy even earlier than Vijender Singh emerged on the scene. Akhil who received the Commonwealth Video games gold in 2006 Melbourne recreation got here agonizingly near profitable the first-ever medal in Boxing for India in the course of the Beijing Olympics of 2008, however he was out-pointed by unheralded Veaceslav Gojan of Moldova 3-10 within the quarter-finals. Nevertheless, it was his show within the pre-quarters, the place he had shocked the then World champion Sergey Vodopoyanov on factors to attain the most important upset of the competitors. Put up his retirement from the sport, Akhil has been concerned in teaching and has mentored many children. Presently, serving in Haryana Police as ACP Gurugram, Kumar spoke at size on the prospect of Indian boxers on the Tokyo video games.

Excerpts

For the primary time, 9 boxers have certified for the Olympics which is unprecedented in Indian boxing? How do you have a look at such a giant turnaround?

The variety of boxers who’ve certified for Tokyo is wanting even better since you are evaluating it to the sooner eras the place solely a few boxers used to make it to the Olympics. Nevertheless, I have to inform you not a lot has modified when it comes to participation as we’ve got simply 5 male boxers this time which has all the time been the case, kind of the identical numbers of boxers used to go to the video games. Sure, in our time there have been no classes for feminine boxers and therefore the success of feminine boxers offers it a really spectacular look when it comes to general numbers. Earlier, there was once extra weight divisions in male classes which have been decreasing through the years so in that sense it’s nonetheless quantity.

What number of medals do you critically count on this time from such an enormous contingent?

We now have received simply two medals that are effectively documented. One in all course is by Vijender in 2008 and after that yet one more by Mary Kom within the London Olympics. This bunch has the flexibility to win at the least two medals in Tokyo which will probably be an enormous accomplishment. The rationale for being so optimistic with this group is the very good coordination among the many boxing federation, Sports activities Authority of India, and the gamers which was not been the case earlier. Everyone seems to be working in the identical course. Earlier, there was once completely different pursuits teams. Other than that, there was immense help from exterior the boxing world as effectively. Particularly the way in which Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi himself has gone out of his method to encourage and encourage the gamers. It makes numerous distinction in motivating the gamers for such a giant occasion. The tradition of sports activities is altering on this nation. The attention degree amongst present boxers is unbelievable and you’ll sense that from the deep involvement of the gamers’ households in the entire affair of a boxer’s journey to the highest. In our occasions, mother and father had no clue what we have been doing, what we have been consuming.

What else has modified for the Indian boxers of late?

A fierce want to win. That’s the most vital change when it comes to the perspective of Indian athletes over the past decade. I will provide you with the instance of Abhinav Bindra. He had all of the comforts of the world and but his want to win an Olympics gold was exemplary. And this factor can’t be instilled by any coach of the world. We frequently give numerous credit score to the coaches for making many gamers a greater model and enhancing their ability set however I’ve all the time believed that gamers are born and might’t be made by coaches. If that was the case, all the nice coaches would have labored first on their children in making them a champion.

So want is one thing which may be very important to win an Olympics medal?

You’re lacking one other essential issue as effectively! The factor of luck performs such a important half in profitable. Who is aware of it higher than me! (Akhil missed an Olympics medal by a whisker in 2008 and an unlucky foot damage within the eleventh hour dominated him out from the 2012 version thus denying him an opportunity of redemption). If a little bit of luck was on our aspect each me and Yogeshwer Dutt (the wrestler) would have received a medal in 2008 though Dutt did handle to win a bronze medal in London.

Loads is predicted from Amit Panghal in 52 kg class. Nevertheless, it’s his first Olympics and is carrying a burden of expectations?

Even whether it is his first Olympics, Amit has performed sufficient huge competitions just like the Asian video games and the CWG that he has a really feel for the larger stage just like the Olympics. And, I have to inform you that when a boxer is contained in the ring, it doesn’t matter what’s the nature of the competitors. She or he solely sees his rival and needs to win. And, I don’t purchase this argument that you simply completely want the expertise of Olympics video games to win a medal. Historical past is stuffed with athletes who’ve change into champions of their first try solely. Take a look at Mary Kom’s success which was her first Video games in London. A number of years in the past, I noticed Amit shedding to an Uzbek boxer in a giant competitors but I used to be very impressed with the way in which he fought. There was one thing particular in him that instructed me that he has received an awesome future. And, if the expertise of taking part in within the Olympics was such an enormous issue then Vikas Krishan ought to have received a medal by now.

Vikas is certainly probably the most skilled on this squad. Can he handle to interrupt the jinx this time?

Should you ask me, I fee his possibilities to win a medal as highest. Amit and others come after him solely for my part. Moreover, Mary Kom nobody is as skilled as Vikas. Take a look at his efficiency on the CWG remaining in 2018 towards an African opponent (he defeated Dieudonne Wilfried Seyi Ntsengue of Cameroon within the 75kg class remaining). Equally, his present within the Asian Video games the place he performed splendidly effectively makes him such a wonderful boxer. Moreover that, Vikas has received the sharpest thoughts. He’s very sharp in each facet. Might God bless us so that each one the boxers could win a medal but when I have been to choose one boxer, it needs to be Vikas, even forward of Mary since realistically talking the entire 9 boxers can’t win a medal every? Vikas is the primary prospect. He’s taking part in in 69 kg from 75, is a southpaw, and has received all of the features lined in his recreation. Amit can also be doing effectively however Vikas is a contact forward within the race of profitable a medal in Tokyo.

How about different boxers moreover Amit and Vikas who you suppose can shock us?

Ashish Kumar (75kg)’s prospect of profitable is best than Manish Kaushik’s (63kg). It’s the hardest weight class on the earth. The way in which he has carried out to qualify for this occasion is exceptional. After all, Manish too is an efficient boxer however there are some technical points that no level in discussing now. Satish Kumar (+91kg) is a particular boxer due to his jigra (lion-heartedness). He’s the primary one to qualify within the heavyweight class. I have to inform you about one other necessary affect which has come by way of MMA boxing (In boxing, you may solely use punches and might solely hit above the belt. In MMA, nearly something is honest recreation. It’s not simply punches and kicks both). Now, you see a distinct sorts of boxers lately. To not say that the boxers of our occasions have been superior. Satish’s probabilities of profitable a medal are very minimal however the way in which he has surprised to date, I think about him as a darkish horse. But, I preserve repeating myself saying that if there may be somebody with the brightest probability, it needs to be Vikas.

Lastly, what’s the best-case state of affairs for India if all goes effectively?

I believe two medals are for positive. This optimism comes from witnessing numerous issues which have modified past the ring as effectively. The federation is stronger now and other people operating the sport which incorporates the sports activities ministry as effectively have made positive that the boxers don’t endure due to different exterior components and we should applaud them for that. In some ways, it’s like BCCI getting stronger and its optimistic affect on our nationwide group’s fortunes. We all the time have had wonderful boxers earlier, even earlier than our occasions however motivation degree has gone up for the present crop. What is best than even PM asking private inquiries to athletes earlier than their departure? In any other case, provided that you could possibly win a medal then solely sportspersons have been invited for a cup of tea and photo-op.

What in regards to the probabilities of feminine boxers?

Simranjit Kaur’s (60kg)’s probabilities of profitable a medal are the identical as Vikas Krishan within the feminine group for me among the many feminine boxers. After all, Mary is probably the most skilled and she or he is in some ways just like Bindra as she has received the identical type of starvation that only a few individuals have. Lovlina Borogohain (69kg) can also be a darkish horse like Kaur who can shock anybody.

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