Bhiwani boxer Vikas Krishan has so far competed in two major international events. In his debut event, the Guangzhou Asian Games, he won gold, while in his second outing, the World Championship in Baku, the 20-year-old has assured himself of a medal. He is the second Indian, after Vijender Singh, to win a World Championship medal. HT spoke to the new boxing sensation. Excerpts:
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.
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.