Indian Boxing team chief coach GS Sandhu alongwith Indian Boxing team members Vijender Kumar, Shiva Thapa, Jai Bhagwan, Manoj and Sumit Sangwan pose for a group photo during the felicitation of the pugilists representing India in the London Olympics 2012 during a press conference in New Delhi. PTI Photo by Kamal Singh
While young pugilists Shiva Thapa and Sumit Sangwan basked in the glory of their newfound fame, their senior Vijender Singh seemed more attuned with the ground reality.
Shiva and Sumit won gold in their respective categories in the Asian Olympic qualifiers while Vijender won a bronze medal, thus winning their London berths.
But the Beijing Olympic bronze medallist feels that though India will be represented by seven boxers — four had qualified last year — fans should not expect seven medals.
“I think it will be safe to say that we can win two medals,” Vijender said. “It is a tough competition and we should not get carried away.”
Shiva said that all the junior boxers looked up to Vijender’s Beijing bronze as inspiration. “We saw him win a bronze in the 2008 Olympics and used to wish that we could emmulate his feat,” he said.
“But I never expected to get that chance so soon.”