Vijender, a middleweight boxer (75kg), said yesterday that he has always been under pressure after winning the Olympic bronze medal four years ago and it has always helped him to bring out his best.
“I have always been under pressure ever since I won the bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics. It is nothing new for me,” said Vijender on the eve of team’s departure for the qualifying tournament.
Vijender, a former World No 1, along with Suranjoy Singh (52kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg), Manpreet Singh (91kg) and Paramjeet Samota (+91kg) trained at the Karnail Singh Stadium here early morning before leaving for Astana.
Vijender made a first round exit from last year’s World Championship, also a qualifying event. This time the stakes are high as Astana offers the Indian boxers the last chance to qualify for Olympics.
“There was pressure when I didn’t get a gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. I went on to get a gold medal in the Asian Games but that hasn’t lessened the pressure. All I can say is that I have become mentally better prepared to deal with it since Beijing,” said Vijender.
Vijender said the situation he faces before London is very similar to what he had come up before Beijing.
“It’s the same situation that I faced before the Beijing Games. I had lost in two attempts and was left with just one chance. At that time, there were just two slots available and I went on to win the gold.
This time, there are four slots in my category. So, I have a better chance. I just have to make the semi-finals,” he said.