Vikas Krishan optimistic of a medal in Rio Olympics

Middleweight boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav, fresh from qualifying for the Olympics, expressed confidence of at least winning a bronze medal in the Rio Games.

Vikas Yadav said that his world rank of No.4 would help him avoid the top boxers from Cuba and Uzbekistan in the initial rounds.   -  Shanker Chakravarty

Middleweight boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav, fresh from qualifying for the Olympics, expressed confidence of at least winning a bronze medal in the Rio Games.

In an interaction with the media, organised by JSW Sports, the 24-year-old underplayed his readiness and projected that the Shiva Thapa and Manoj Kumar were capable of winning the gold.

Delving into the subject, and the fact that only three boxers have qualified from India as compared to eight for the London Games, Vikas conceded that the Indian boxers had the odds staked against them.

“This time even Mary Kom, Asia No.1 and five time World Champion, could not qualify.”

He hastened to say that he would utilise the time on hand well, with training in Venezuela during the pro boxing qualification event for about ten days, and continue the training at home thereafter with coach Jagdip Hooda.

“I can’t fight in Venezuela as I have already qualified for Olympics. But, I will go, as there will be a lot of good boxers, and will try to arrange bouts with them to get quality training,” said Vikas.

Saying that he was inadvertently following closely on the footsteps of Vijender Singh, the Olympic bronze medallist, in terms of similar achievements in the international arena, Vikas said that it was likely to be his last Olympics and he would put everything in his power to strike a medal.

“It hurt badly when the result was reverted last time in London. I didn’t fight for about a year and a half afterwards. I had qualified with a World Championship medal then, and had prepared the best possible way, even though things did not go according to plan. I missed qualification this time in world championship and thereafter, but was confident in Baku. I won my bouts one-sided,” recalled Vikas.

Vikas said that his world rank of No.4 would help him avoid the top boxers from Cuba and Uzbekistan in the initial rounds.

“I need to win two fights to get a medal,” reasoned Vikas, who has won many medals on the big stage, including the Asian Games gold, Youth Olympics bronze, Youth world championship gold, Asian youth championship gold and Asian championship silver, apart from the World championship bronze.

Being part of the Union Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), Vikas said that he enjoyed good training in the US and UK. He also emphasised that JSW had assured him of all support whenever required, to help him stay focused on the preparation.

Stressing that it was important to keep the options of qualification through professional boxing open, Vikas said that professional boxing meant a lot of hard training and easy competition.

Coach Hooda exuded confidence that Vikas was capable of winning the gold in Rio as he had beaten world class boxers in the international arena.

“Last time I was young at 19. Now I am young and have experience. The decision was reverted last time. I could not digest that,” said Vikas, quite keen to set the record straight, without leaving anything to chance.