rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Vijender ready to return to the ring

Vijender ready to return to the ring

May 11, 2009 19:45 IST

More than eight months after he won India its first Olympic medal in boxing, Vijender Singh returns to the ring, confident that the time away from action would not make him rusty when he dons the gloves in a European Grand Prix event from May 13 to 18.

The 23-year-old middle weight bronze medallist from the Beijing Olympics would be up against top boxers from Europe and Cuba in the event, which is part of the European boxing calendar.

"I have trained for one-and-half months in Patiala. I am not carrying any injuries and feeling fresh. The nagging pain in my back has also subsided and I am confident of doing well," said Vijender, who along with five others leaves on Monday night for the tournament in Usti Na Labe, Czech Republic.

Vijender assured that staying out of the ring for eight months would not make him rusty.

"I will try my best but luck is also something. Let's see what happens but I think I have trained hard enough to be ready for the challenge," he said.

"And yes, I am aware that I will be watched," he added.

The other five boxers in the Indian team are Suranjoy Singh (51kg), former national champion P Narjeet Singh (54kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg) and reigning light welter weight national champion Manoj Kumar.

"There is pressure to perform after winning the medal in Beijing but then, I generally do well when put under pressure. It brings out the best in me and hopefully, I will be able to prove this with my performance in this Grand Prix event," he said.

Vijender assured staying out of the ring for eight months would not make him rusty when he gets back to action.

"I will try my best but luck is also something. Let's see what happens but I think I have trained hard enough to be ready for the challenge," he said.

Vijender said the tournament would help him assess his fitness as he gears up for tougher challenges like next month's Asian Championship in China and the much-anticipated World Championship scheduled for August-September in Milan.

"It is like a preparatory tournament, that is why I am not putting myself under too much pressure. But obviously, if I don't do well, questions will be asked, which I don't want," he said.

C Kuttappa, the man Vijender has credited for grooming him before the Olympics, will be accompanying the team as the coach.

Vijender said he is well aware of the expectations from him post the Olympics.

"There is pressure to perform after winning the medal in Beijing but then, I generally do well when put under pressure. It brings out the best in me and hopefully, I will be able to prove this with my performance in this Grand Prix event," he said.

© Copyright 2014 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.