New Delhi: Still regretful of the time he spent away from his late mother while she battled cancer, star Indian boxer Suranjoy Singh on Wednesday dedicated his Arjuna award to her and said it is just one of the several goals that he wants to achieve to honour her memory.
The lone boxer to make the cut in the honours' list of this year's National Sports Awards, the fly weight pugilist returned to the country on Wednesday after notching up a bronze medal at the fifth World Military Games in Brazil.
The 25-year-old Manipuri was the only Indian boxer to finish on the podium at the Games held in the Brazilian capital of Rio de Janeiro.
"I dedicate this (Arjuna) award to my late mother (Tampaklei Singh), I have to do a lot more for her. She wanted to see me as a successful boxer and compete in the Olympics and I want to fulfill all her dreams," Suranjoy said after landing in the capital.
"I could not spend time with her when she was unwell. I was competing at the Commonwealth Games when she first fell ill. She started improving after that but her condition worsened after I went for the Asian Games in November last year.
"My family kept this information from me while I was at the Asian Games (in China last year). It was only after I came back that I got to know what had happened. She died in December last year. I regret not being there while she was not well, I wanted to spend more time with her," he added.
The diminutive boxer, who won seven straight international gold medals before the streak ended with a bronze in the Asian Games, said the Arjuna award is not much of a surprise for him even though he hardly thinks about honours.
"It has not really surprised me but I am not really concerned about awards. I just focus on performances, the awards follow," he said.
Set to be promoted in the Indian Navy for his medal, Suranjoy said the Arjuna award brings with it heightened expectations and he would strive hard to live up to them. "Such an honour obviously leads to more expectations and I will keep working hard to get more medals for the country," he said.
Suranjoy will head straight back to training in Patiala at the national camp for the World Championships in September - the first qualifying tournament for next year's London Olympics.
He has decided not to defend his Asian Championships gold medal that he won in 2009.
"I decided to skip the Asian Championships this time because that would have drained me out. I will rather get my body in perfect shape at the national camp and be fully prepared for the World Championships," he said.
"I have already got a taste of the competition that awaits me by checking out likely opponents at the Military Games. It was a good tournament to compete in as the competition was very good," he said.