This was your first 69kg weight category tournament. Were you under pressure?The pressure of performing in the new weight category was definitely there. Had I failed to win in the medal round, everyone would have criticised me for switching to a higher weight category after the Asian Games triumph. Medal in the World Championships has proved that my decision was right. The only thing I was worried about was that I had no experience in the 69kg category. But, with each bout, I gained experience and now my focus is on the semifinal. I know my opponent from Ukraine is more experienced, but I will give my best.
It is rare in Indian boxing for players to move up two weight categories in one go. Was it difficult to shift from 60 to 69kg?As I am still developing physically, I was finding it hard to restrict my weight to 60kg. I couldn't have competed in 64kg, as Manoj Kumar is already an established name in the category. So, I decided to move up two categories to 69kg. Shifting to a higher weight category gave me more power, but slowed down my movements.
What difference do you find in your game from the Asian Games to the World Championship?I was a rookie during the Asian Games, so there were no expectations from me and I was not under pressure. But after the Games triumph, people started pinning a lot of hope on me. At the back of my mind, I knew I had to live up to their expectations in the World Championship. So, the pressure of not returning home empty-handed was also there and it motivated me. Since the Asian Games, I have become more mature.
What's next?After the World Championship, I will chalk out a schedule for the Olympics and my focus will be on the London games. My ultimate dream is to win an Olympic gold and I am going to achieve it.