Star Indian boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav asserted that he is confident of bagging a medal at the upcoming Rio Olympics.
Vikas, who earned qualification at the World Qualifying Tournament at Baku, in Azerbaijan, recently, said he is inspired by the exploits of Vijender Singh in the middleweight (75kg) category.
“I have a feeling that I will win a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. I will have to win two bouts to bag a bronze. I am hoping to get a favorable draw as my world ranking is decent and hopefully I won’t face tough boxers in my first two rounds,” Vikas told reporters here.
“The fact that I will be fighting in same category in which Vijender Singh had won a bronze, I have a strong feeling that I will also finish third. Vijender had won a bronze at the World Championship and so did I, while he had bagged a silver at the Asian Championships and I also did the same,” he added.
The Rio Games will be Vikas’ second appearance at the Olympics. The 24-year-old was at the receiving end of some questionable scoring at the 2012 London Olympics, going down to Errol Spence of the US in the pre-quarterfinals. But the Haryana lad is confident of doing better this time round.
“For the London Olympics, I had qualified some eight months prior to the Games but failed to win a medal there. This time there was a lot of tension as I had not qualified earlier, but that forced me to work very hard. I didn’t rest for a single day. And that reflected in my results at Baku. I comfortably won three of my bouts, which were all one-sided,” Vikas asserted.
“So, this time I am better prepared and more confident. Moreover, compared to the last Olympics, I have a bagful of experience also,” he added.
“I’m determined to give my best at Rio as it is going to be my last Olympics.”
India had fielded an eight-member contingent at the 2012 Olympics. But the administrative mess over the last four years has taken its toll and only three boxers — Vikas, Shiva Thapa and Monoj Kumar — have qualified this time. But Vikas asserted that Indian boxers will still return with medals from Rio.
“We have a small but a very good team. Both Shiva Thapa and Monoj Kumar are very good and capable of winning medals. In fact, those two can get gold.”
Vikas will now travel to Venezuela for a training stint on the sidelines of the Olympic qualifying tournament for professional boxers to be held there next month. But before that, he will need to recover from a cut above his left eye which got aggravated during the tournament in Baku.
“I am going to Venezuela on June 30 and will be there till July 10. I will not be able to take part in the competition there due to some rules, but will be looking to catch hold of some sparring partners to practice for the Rio Games. Some of the best boxers are suppose to be there,” he said.
“After coming back from Venezuela, I will be based in India and train here before leaving for the Games,” he added.