He rose from anonymity with a
bronze in Beijing that was as good as gold for Indian boxing
but set for an unprecedented third Olympic appearance,
Vijender Singh wants to remain oblivious -- at least to the
pressure that comes with being one of the country's biggest
stars at the greatest sporting show on earth.
The 25-year-old, incidentally also the nation's first medallist at the World Championships (a bronze in the 2009 Milan edition), is a former world number one and is unarguably the brightest name in a seven-strong Indian boxing contingent for the London Olympics.
He is well aware of the expectations from him but Vijender (75kg) would rather not think about those.
"I can understand there are expectations but I cannot keep thinking about them. My job is to focus on training and leave the rest to God. I prefer to shut my mind to everything else ahead of major competitions," the Haryana lad told.
Vijender has earned his Olympic berth the hard way, failing in his first two attempts before finally making the cut in the third and last chance -- the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in April.
But he prefers to pick the positives from the process instead of harping on the agonising wait he endured.
"It was all a part of the learning process. It made me
tougher as a competitor. Yes, there have been low points but
that's part and parcel of being an international athlete. You
can't escape such phases. I am just glad that I came through,"
said the strapping six-footer.
"Now the aim is another Olympic medal because that is what I will be remembered for. Being a three-time Olympian is fine but it would be better with a two-time medallist tag along with it," he said.