Returning to India after their stellar show in the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, the boxers were on Tuesday felicitated by the Boxing Federation of India.
BFI president Ajay Singh divulged their immediate plans for the boxers and said that a squad of around 20 pugilists will be travelling to the US to train at the world class academy.
“We are extremely proud and happy with the boxers’ performance but to tell you this is not the end but the beginning of our efforts. Our boxers will now travel to the US and train in in Michael Johnson Academy, the best athletic development Academy in the world for a fortnight.
“We want them to get proper exposure mentally and physically so that they are ready in time for the Asian Games, where the competition will be even tougher,” Singh said during the felicitation ceremony.
MC Mary Kom, who won the first medal for India in Gold Coast, reiterated the BFI president’s thought.
“It is a huge achievement for the team to return with so many medals. While we are celebrating this performance, we must also get ready for our next challenge. I would like to thank BFI for providing us with this opportunity of going and training in the US. I am quite sure it will help us immensely and help us prepare better for the games,” the champion boxer said.
Vikas Krishan, who won the gold in 75kg competition, thanked the federation for its support and vowed to keep up the performance in upcoming events.
“Our coaches had worked hard to prepare us for the Championship and I would really like to appreciate the effort of the federation. With the precision run up preparations we had I was confident of a good show and I am really happy that we could bring home nine medals,” Vikas said.
The Indian boxing team have won nine medals, — three gold, three silver and three bronze — to finish third on the medals tally after shooting and weightlifting.
While terming CWG an “easy” outing, Vikas said he has turned pro to get a different exposure, which could help him win an Olympic medal.
“CWG was very easy, I beat three Olympians in quarterfinals, semifinals and finals but still it was easy. I will be preparing well for Asian Games. The feeling before CWG was that If I couldn’t win there, then I can’t win (elsewhere) after getting so much support.
“Asian Games is like mini Olympics with boxers from Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, and Uzbekistan give us tough fight.”
Asked about his future stint in pro boxing, he said, “I was looking for something new. Staying in same camp, fighting the same boxers, following the same drill… I wanted to try out something new.
“My first priority is Olympics, if I play against tough boxers in pro it will become easier for me in Olympics,” Vikas said.