Yeh dil maange more, says boxer Vijender

July 24th, 2012 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 24 (IANS) India’s top boxer Vijender Singh, bronze medallist at 2008 Beijing Games, said never ever did he think he would participate in three Olympics but he yearns for more at the 2012 London Games.

“Not in my wildest dreams I thought of playing in three Olympics. But still ‘yeh dil maange more’,” said Vijender, the only Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal, during at interaction here Tuesday at the Games Village.

Vijender said the Indian boxing has changed since his historic medal at Beijing four years ago. He feels Indian boxers are now more aggressive and they want to win only the gold medal.

“Earlier, the aim of our senior boxers was to get selected for the Olympics. Now the young boxers want to win. The youngsters have virtually transformed this sport in India with their efforts.”

“I remember that earlier senior boxers used to scare us by saying that our rival is a World Champion or so and it is very difficult to beat him. But that scenario has changed. Winning and losing is part of the sport but how you fight makes a difference,” he said.

Asked about his medal chances, Vijender said: “There are 28 boxers in his 75-kg category. One needs to win five bouts for gold and three for bronze.”

Vijender also hit back at his critics who feel that he has been concentrating more on endorsements than boxing since winning the medal in Beijing.

“I was in three advertisements in 2007 but nobody said anything then. But after I won a medal in Beijing, people started noticing me and taking a dig at me. But I am not bothered,” he said.

“I have led a very disciplined and simple life. God has been kind to me,” he said.

Vijender said tennis player Leander Paes, also a bronze medallist in 1996 Atlanta Games, and Dhanraj Pillay were his inspiration.

“I was always fascinated by them, wanted to be well known in my country like them and play in Olympics. Around 1999 or 2000 there used to be advertisements in which Paes was endorsing a sports shoes. The cost of that shoe, I still remember was Rs.650. I wanted to be like him. I wanted to be brand ambassador of products but that was pure fantasy. I some times used to laugh at myself for thinking like that. But god has been great. My fantasy has turn into reality,” Vijender said.

“Pillay was another big star those days. I used to read a lot about him and slowly Paes and Pillay became my heroes. I wanted to travel abroad but not as tourist but like my heroes,” he said.

Vijender said his career has been a roller-coaster ride but a dream journey.

“It has been a roller-coaster ride since I started boxing at the higher level. It is a dream journey which is still continuing. Sometimes I do get haunted by a few bad dreams but still it has been great,” he said.

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