HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014
Boxers get divine assistance from kin
Saurabh Duggal, Hindustan Times
London, July 28, 2012
First Published: 00:27 IST(28/7/2012)
Last Updated: 00:29 IST(28/7/2012)

As Indian athletes aim to put their best foot forward at the London Games, their families back home are making sure that they get adequate divine assistance.

The kin of the boxers are undertaking pilgrimages to pray for their success. After all, hard work apart, there is an element of miracle in sport, and faith is known to provide that touch.

Beijing Games bronze-medallist Vijender Singh, competing in the 75kg category, is all set to lead the Indian challenge in boxing and his family is leaving no stone unturned to help him do an encore.

Holy prayers
Manoj Kumar, Vijender's brother, recently travelled to Haridwar as a kanwariya carrying water for Lord Shiva, to ensure that the boxer is successful in his campaign.

"We strongly believe in these things. Vijender should have all the blessings and luck when he steps into the ring," said Manoj. In 2008, too, Vijender's father undertook the journey to Haridwar to pray for his son's success.

Ditto for another Haryana pugilist, Manoj Kumar, competing in the 64kg category. His brother, Rajesh Kumar, visited the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Tirupati Balaji in Andhra Pradesh.

"Religion has a strong influence on us. We believe it has the power to do a lot of things, even those deemed impossible. I wanted my brother to perform at his best, so I went to seek blessings for him," said Rajesh.

Rajesh even ensured the Balaji prasad reached Manoj in London. A cousin of Jai Bhagwan (60kg) also undertook the journey to Tirupati Balaji to pray for the boxer's success.

Divine blessing
Meanwhile, India's star athletes, Krishna Poonia and Sudha Singh, visited the famous Radha Krishna Temple in Stratford, London to seek blessings. The temple is just a short walk from the Games Village.

Poonia said, "I have worked very hard and with Gods blessings, I will achieve my goal. I feel very peaceful and confident after visiting the temple. I prayed for the success of the Indian team and I am confident my team-mates will win plenty medals."

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Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
England 58 59 57 174
Australia 49 42 46 137
Canada 32 16 34 82
Scotland 19 15 19 53
India 15 30 19 64
New Zealand 14 14 17 45
South Africa 13 10 17 40
Nigeria 11 11 14 36
Kenya 10 10 5 25
Jamaica 10 4 8 22
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