New Delhi:Winning the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award is the "biggest moment" of his career but boxer Vijender Singh plans to keep the celebrations low key as round-the-clock training for the World Championships leaves him with little time for anything else.
"This is without doubt the biggest moment of my career," Vijender said from Patiala.
"I am honoured to get this award. It's very special because every sportsperson in India dreams of it. I am no different," he said.
The Beijing Olympics bronze medallist was chosen for the honour along with fellow Olympic bronze winner wrestler Sushil Kumar and four-time world champion woman boxer M C Mary Kom.
However, Vijender has no time to party as his coaches keep him on toes for the September World Championships in Rome, Italy.
"I spend almost the entire day inside the ring sparring.
That leaves me with little time for anything else. I will celebrate but it would not be very big because we are into serious preparation for the World Championships," he said.
"Besides, I think I hurt my back a bit during the morning training. So I have to rest as well," he added.
He won the Arjuna award in 2007 and the Bhiwani boxer said he is looking forward to being at the Rashtrapati Bhawan after becoming a star.
"I will walk into the Rashtrapati Bhawan again in that same ceremony. I know it would be a different feeling and I cannot wait for the experience," Vijender said.
No Indian boxer had ever won a Khel Ratna before this year and Vijender said two pugilists getting it in the same year was a bonanza he never expected.
"It's funny how things change. Two boxers getting Khel Ratna is just unbelievable. I am very happy for Mary and Sushil too. Both of them deserved this and it's great," he said.
In his moment of glory, Vijender once again thanked his coaches.
"My coaches laid the foundation for what I have become now. They are the ones I would like to thank for bringing me this far," he said.
Having got the biggest honour an athlete can dream of in India, Vijender said he would continue to strive for excellence inside the ring.
"It's a huge motivation and I will continue to work hard to ensure that I live upto the expectations that my country has of me," he said.