'The only thing running in the mind is the thought of getting a gold'

Indian welterweight Vikas Krishan Yadav will draw on all of his skill, discipline and determination to return from London with an Olympic medal and fulfil a promise he made to his father. Here's an interview with him, by Bharat Sharma.

Comfort-wise, is it better to play in front of a home crowd or in the international arena?It is good to play at home, but it has its disadvantages too. There is a lot of pressure, people expect you to win all the time. As I have got a lot of experience now, the place really does not make any difference. The motive is to get in the ring and win the bout.

How do you prepare yourself mentally before a big game?

I don't do anything extra before a big bout. I remain focussed on the job at hand and pay attention to my  coach's advice. Another thing is that I never fear my opponent.

London Olympics - what are the expectations you have set for yourself.

The only thing running in the mind is the thought of getting a gold. It is the first time I will be competing at  the Olympics and I am really looking forward to it. While the team was training in Ireland last month, I was juggling with my practice and exam preparation in Bhiwani, Haryana. I think my preparation has been good even though I was not able to acclimatise to the expected weather like the other boxers who went to  Dublin. In fact, I prefer training in India for longer duration as I feel home sick abroad.

How do you keep yourself fit for your sport?

I do the usual training which is working in the gym early morning and then spending time in the ring. As far  as food habits go, I eat all stuff that an athlete requires. Drinking milk is something that I can't do without. Ever since I was a child, I loved milk and fruits. 

India is a cricket country; do you think your sport is underrated?

I won't like to compare boxing with any other sport. It has its own place. Vijender Singh brought the sport into the limelight by winning bronze in Beijing and its popularity will only increase if we win the medals expected of us at the London Games. I think we should get at least three medals this time around.

Tell us about a memory that is etched in your mind that proves to you that you cannot do without mom.

Both my father and mother have been really supportive. The one thing that will stay with me is that my mother always let me do what I wanted to do. She never forced me to study. I was always into sports and she encouraged me to take whatever game I wanted, at a time when other parents focussed more on the academics.

What is the message you would like to give your mom?

She has told me that she would settle for nothing less than a gold and I want to say to her that I will give my all to make her proud. A medal would be the best gift to my mother, who has spent most of her life thinking I will win at the Olympics.

How has mom been an influence in your life, professionally and personally?

I have no role models but as I said before, she has been a stoic mother. I owe her whatever little success I have achieved so far and a medal at the Olympics will be a fitting present for her years of love and support.

Next page >> We talk to Vikas Krishan Yadav's mother, Darshna Devi


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