Boxing champion and Olympic bronze medal holder Vijender Singh carries India’s hopes at the Olympics this year. We
find out his success mantra and fitness regime as well as the relationship with the woman who influenced him the most, his mother.
Comfort-wise, is it better to play in front of a home crowd or in the international arena?
Home crowd makes a difference in boxing. Whenever we box in front of the home crowd, the opponent is always under pressure. But now we have to fight all over the world. We are used to boxing at international arenas as well. So we are used to fight in different situations, but obviously there is nothing like fighting in front of your supporters.
How do you prepare yourself mentally before a big game?
We do a lot of study on the opponents, but I always try to take it easy. I always focus on my strengths rather than thinking about others. It keeps me in a positive frame of mind.
London Olympics - what are the expectations you have set for yourself?
I am happy with my preparation so far. We have trained hard for the London Games. A camp in Ireland helped us immensely. We will be in London two weeks ahead of the competition and that should help us. I am highly motivated and something good should come out of it.
How do you keep yourself fit for your sport?
My training regimen is rigorous. The focus is on various aspects, including endurance and speed training. A lot of running and sprinting among other things. Plus we do weight training, shadow boxing and sparring as well.
India is a cricket country do you think your sport is underrated?
The perception is changing. Today there is a huge following for Olympic sports in the country. Boxing has also become popular. WSBs and fight nights have attracted huge crowd and that shows that popularity of boxing is increasing.
Tell us about a memory that is etched in your mind that proves to you that you cannot do without mom?
I am close to my mother. Whenever I am away from home, I always feel for her. I wish she was with me when I won the bronze medal in the Olympics.
What is the message you would like to give your mom?
I will never let her down. She is my pillar of strength and her values have always inspired me.
How has mom been an influence in your life, professionally and personally?
My mother has always been with me in good and bad times. She always keeps inspiring me. Her faith in me surprises me at times. She has an immense influence on my life.
Questions for mother Krishna Beniwal:
Tell us some traits about your son that makes him perfect for this sport?
He was a powerful lad. There was also a boxing tradition in the family as his elder brother was also a boxer. I was worried about their coming back from training with injuries. But they were passionate about boxing. I never stopped them.
How have you encouraged your child to take up this sport?
I have always inspired Vijender. I was scared but he was passionate about the sport and could never ask him to give it up.
What kind of food habits would you suggest for moms who are training their kids for full-time sports?
We are vegetarian but I would like all mothers to give their kids a healthy diet.
What message would you like to give your son before the Olympics?
I would ask Vijender to give his best. The country believes in him and he can do us proud again.
--Indo-Asian News Service