Once rated a good prospect to medal in the Tokyo Olympics, boxer Simranjit Kaur went through a low phase before arresting her slide to aim bigger again.
A 2018 World championships bronze medallist and a two-time Asian championships medallist, Simranjit now looks back at the forgettable period – including a disappointing performance at the Olympics and her two losses to the up-and-coming Jaismine Lamboria in domestic events in the last one year– as a learning experience.
“The Olympics got delayed due to Covid. I thought it was good, but it was not so as I was down with Covid twice and my performance went down considerably,” said Simranjit, who is competing at the National Games in Gandhinagar.
“It was a lesson. We need to remain fit mentally and physically. If we slip a bit, then the game goes down. Now I am maintaining both.”
In order to remain ‘mentally fit,’ Simranjit does visualization before a bout and listens to music.
“Sometimes there is self doubt – if I lose then what. I don’t want to bring such thoughts and focus on my performance without bothering about the result.”
Simranjit is realistic about the ups and downs in one’s career. “I was determined that I have to fight back. I did not stop training and finally got selected for the Asian championships. More than winning, I focus on boxing well.”
The 27-year-old – who lost to Jaismine twice before beating the youngster in the trials for the Asian championships – looks at the rivalry positively. “When I lost to her I felt bad, but I accepted the result. I learn from my mistakes and try to rectify those so that I don’t repeat those during the rematch.
“Those bouts were closely-fought and could have gone either way. I had the mindset to land clear shots without giving her a chance.
“I feel good to bounce back and want to perform better. My first target is to do well in the Asian event. My aim is to win the gold medal. That will be a confidence booster for the Olympics (preparations). After the (disappointment in) Olympics, if I get a medal, then it will be good for my confidence.”
Simranjit is eager to use the National Games as a platform to build her momentum for the continental event in Amman later this month. “There is a gap of 15-20 days to get ready for the Asian championships,” she said.