Vijender eyes Olympic qualification

Updated: 03 August 2011 22:49 IST

Star pugilist Vijender Singh wants to put up a good show at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in order to seal his place in the Indian squad for London Olympics.

Vijender eyes Olympic qualification

Mumbai:

Star pugilist Vijender Singh wants to put up a good show at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in order to seal his place in the Indian squad for London Olympics.

"Ten boxers in each weight category will qualify during the World Championship. It is a very big event and over 800 boxers will participate. Let's see how many (Indian) boxers can qualify," the 25-year-old Bhiwani-boxer told reporters on the sidelines of an event to announce the World Gaming Festival in Goa from September 23-26.

"The preparations are good. We are all fit and not carrying any injuries. Hopefully, we will maintain it till the World Championships. The more boxers qualify, the more chances the country will have to win medals in the Olympics," he said.

"The sooner we qualify, the more time we will have to prepare," he added.

The World Boxing Championships will be held from September 22-October 10, 2011 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Prior to the World Championships, the Olympic and World Championship bronze-medallist Vijender will participate in the world series games in the US and then move on to France for a training-cum-tournament.

Saying that there will be pressure of expectations on the pugilists, Vijender asserted, "We need to take it in a positive way but we must not be overconfident."

On the International Amateur Boxing Association's (AIBA) decision to take headguards off in all elite men competitions, the 25-year-old said, "Without headguards it would be professional boxing. Amateur boxing happens with headguards.

"Amateur is not as popular as professional boxing. So they are trying to bring in some changes. But there are more chances of boxers getting injured without a headgear. We train without headgear many times. So hopefully there won't be too many problems."

The AIBA, at its Executive Committee meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan a couple of days ago, had decided to change the technical and competition rules for all its programs, including headguards rule for all elite men competitions in AIBA Amateur, World Series Boxing and AIBA Professional Boxing programs.

Vijender said he was still coming to terms with the new scoring system.

"I was very happy with the old points system. In the new points system you get very high scores -- almost 75-80 at times -- which did not happen earlier," he said, adding that the boxers are trying to get used to it during training.

Stating that he had not yet been contacted by the Mumbai-based Transstadia, which has signed a 10-year deal with World Series Boxing to own an Indian team, he said, "Let the Olympics get over first, only then we will discuss that."

Asked about his leaner and fitter look, Vijender said, "I have reduced weight. I play in the under-75 category. The weight does increases sometimes to 77-78. We have to maintain it between 59-75, otherwise you cannot take part in the championships."

Topics : Boxing Olympics 2012
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