Local girl Mandeep Kaur Sandhu, 16, who won the gold medal in the Junior World Boxing Championship at Taipei (Taiwan) last week, eys the yellow metal in the 2020 Olympics. She wants to win it for the country and particularly for the man who opened the Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy in her village, Chakar, in Ludhiana district.
“Ajmer uncle (Ajmer Singh Sidhu), who died last year, used to say that the day a player from the academy would compete in the Olympics, his aim of establishing this boxing nursery would be fulfilled. I want to make his dream come true and bring an Olympic medal as a tribute to him,” Mandeep said on returning to her village on Tuesday after her title triumph.
Talking about her performance in the world championship, Mandeep said, “I defeated competitors from England, Hungary and France in my first three bouts. This gave me the confidence to go all the way. And I did that by beating my rival from Ireland in the final. It’s my hard work and my coaches’ faith in me that got me the gold medal.”
“I can’t participate in the 2016 Olympics because of the age criterion, but that won’t stop me from preparing for the 2020 games. I want to become India’s next Mary Kom,” Mandeep said.