India boxer Vikash Krishan, who is already assured of a bronze medal, is keen to create history
The only Indian boxer in contention for a medal at the ongoing World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan -- Vikas Krishan -- is keen to create history as he prepares to take on Ukraine's Taras Shelestyuk in the Welterweight (69 kg) semi-final today.
True blue: India's Vikas Krishan (in blue) is declared a winner
against Belarus' Nurudzinon Mahamed in a World Championship
Round Two match in Baku, Azerbaijan recently
Vikas is assured of a bronze medal (both losing semi-finalists are given bronze medals) which will equal Vijender Singh's effort at the 2009 World Championships in Milan. Vijender's bronze is India's only medal in a boxing world championship. But Vikas is aiming for much more.
"It will be tough to win gold given the level of competition here is the highest but I will give it my best. I know that Vijender has won us a bronze earlier too, but I won't relax now that a medal is assured. I'm aiming for gold," said Vikas, who qualified for the 2012 London Olympics along with fellow boxers Jai Bhagwan, L Devendro Singh and Manoj Kumar, all of whom reached the quarter-finals here.
Vikas is also taking the help of Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj in his bid to re-write the history books. "Manoj is a good friend. He watched my semi-final opponent very closely and made a video of his previous bout. Tonight, we will study that and along with the coaches, devise a strategy accordingly," said Vikas, who hails from Bhiwani in Haryana but trains at the Army Sports Institute in Pune.
National boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu is proud of what Vikas has achieved and felt the Bhiwani boxer can stun the world too. "Vikas is a very intelligent boxer. He has done very well for himself and the country here. A bronze medal for a debut fight at the World Championship is no mean achievement.
He is young (19 years only) and has a bright future ahead of him. I believe he can definitely change the colour of his medal here tomorrow," said Sandhu. India's Cuban coach BI Fernandez could not agree more. "Vikas is a hardworking boy. He is a very smart fighter too. Anything can happen from hereon. he has nothing to lose," said Fernandez.