Vikas Krishan gears up for World Championships

first_imgAlmost a year back, Vikas Krishan became the cynosure of all eyes when he won a gold in the 60kg category at the Asian Games, ending India’s 12-year drought of an Asiad gold medal in boxing.But as he prepares for the World Championships, starting from Thursday in Baku, Azerbaijan, he has an uphill task to prove his mettle in the 69kg category.The world meet poses the fiercest competition after the Olympics and odds are against Krishan. The 19-year-old catapulted to the new category (69kg) in which he is yet to be tested.Many consider his style of counter-attack as a suicidal, especially in the current scoring system, which clearly favours the aggressive boxers. But the 2010 world youth champion Krishan has not been weighed down by the odds. In fact, he is unnerved by the magnitude of the challenge he is going to face at the Worlds.”World Championships will be my biggest tournament till date. New category and tough competition will pose a big challenge but I have gone through similar situations in the past. I am sure I won’t be nervous or anxious at the World Championships and will give it my best shot,” said a confident Krishan, who is currently training with the Indian team for the mega event near Nice, France.”I was a novice when I was crowned the world youth champion. My first tournament in the senior category was at the Asian Games and I emerged triumphant. The level of competition at the World Championships is very high but it’s not impossible to win a medal there,” he told Mail Today. The World Championships are also the first qualifier for the London Olympics and 10 boxers from the 69kg category will qualify for the event.advertisementStrategy ProblemKrishan’s strategy drew flak during the Asian Games as he was criticised for being extra defensive against the then defending champion Qing Hu of China in the final. Despite that, Krishan won but Hu blamed him of being too negative.Krishan, however, justified his decision and said his strategy was apt to the old scoring system.Despite the new scoring system, which generally favours those with aggressive tactics, in place, Krishan remains unperturbed and insists he is working on towards improving his style.”My natural style is counterattack and I can’t change it overnight. So I am opening my guard more and also working on quick footwork during the practice.”I have Vijender and Kuldeep as the sparring partners. Both compete in the middleweight (75kg) and are known for their power-punches. Sparring with them will help me when I face strong contenders,” said the Bhiwani boxer.Lack of exposureThe biggest drawback, Krishan faced post Asian Games was the limited exposure he got. An invitational tournament in Cuba in May has been his only international event. So, the training in France is practically his only outing as a build up to the Worlds. The boxer said he wants to utilise the opportunity to the fullest.”The atmosphere in France and Baku is almost same, so the training will help us acclimatise to the conditions in Baku. Also, we will get sparring partners from other countries. It will help us understand their game as some of them could compete in Baku,” he said.”As far lack of exposure is concerned, I did well at the Asian Games, perhaps because my opponents were unaware about my game and they failed to gauge it in time. I think the same can work for me at the World Championships as well,” said an optimistic Krishan.last_img

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