Rohtak (Haryana):With Akhil Kumar on the threshold of making history at the Beijing Olympics, his parents, and relatives have been praying hard for his success in Monday's quarterfinal bout, which would ensure India its first ever boxing medal at the quadrennial spectacle.
Akhil's parents Shiv Bhagwan and Shyama Devi have decided to keep 'maun vrat' (not to speak) till the bout of their son in Beijing in evening is over, even as chanting of Vedic mantras at their house near New Bus Stand here is on.
"Akhil's elder brother, Shailender, who lives in Gurgaon and his two sisters Sushma and Pushpa who are settled in UP have also been praying for his success at the Beijing Olympics," the boxer's close friend and boxer himself, Subodh, told PTI.
He said Akhil's friend Dilbag had started a 400 km march on foot from his Gurgaon residence to a shrine at Shalsar in Rajasthan's Churu district so that he wins a Olympic medal.
Akhil's maternal uncle, who lives in Kanpur, offered prayers on the bank of holy Ganga river in the morning.
Akhil's father Shiv Bhagwan, who lives in jail quarters here as he is employed in Rohtak jail, is both nervous and excited at the same time, Subodh said.
"Apart from relatives, everybody in his friend circle has been praying," Subodh, who knows the Haryana boxer closely for the last 10 years, said.
After beating a world champion in his previous round, Akhil will be facing a relatively unheralded Veaceslav Gojan of Moldova.