Hard punches exchanged during the Commonwealth Games, it was time for the boxers to take a break and set their sights on the next big event coming up — the Asian Games in Guangzhou next month.
Though relaxed, they didn't seem one bit complacent about the next big assignment.
Six of the seven medal-winners at the CWG, including Suranjoy Singh, Paramjeet Samota, Dilbagh Singh, Vijender Singh, Amandeep Singh and Jai Bhagwan, were confident of a good show in Guangzhou but felt the challenge they faced would be much tougher than the Games
“The competition in the Asian Games will be tougher but since all of us have won medals here, we are confident of performing well in China,” said CWG bronze-medallist Vijender Singh.
However, gold-medallist Suronjoy Singh said he was not worried about his Asian opponents.
“It has been a good 20 months for me in the ring and my performance has improved with every bout.
So, I see no reason why I won't do well in China,” he said.
Asked about his newfound popularity, bronze-medallist Dilbagh Singh said, “Sometimes, people recognise me on the streets. But I am a little uncomfortable with so much attention from the people and the media.”
The coaches and the support staff, who mostly work behind the scenes, also had their share of limelight as they were also felicitated.
Asked about the number of medals India was expected to bring back from the Asian Games, National coach, GS Sandhu, said, “We have just finished a major competition and done well.
“But I cannot comment on the number of medals we will win in China.
“The hosts and a few other countries like Uzbekistan are very good.”
For the time being, the Indian medal-winning boxers are just happy to have received a sum of Rs three lakh each for gold and Rs one lakh for the bronze from Monnet Ispat and Energy Limited.