London Olympics Preview: Boxing




The stage which took Indian boxers to sky high is back with a chance to make them stars.

Not long ago, there were just trespassers in news media with a little to no time spent on them. But now, there were spoken at large in prime time and even been covered for specials, bringing their personal battle to add weight into their glorious path. It is of no surprise why five time champion and a living legend like Mary Kom stresses for Olympic medal. The importance of Olympic medal goes far beyond than just popularity and money, especially for boxers. This is the largest boxing contingent ever qualified for Olympics and don’t be surprised if they climb into podium one after another.

Mary Kom (Flyweight, 51kg) – A medal booked already

Hunger won’t stop without a podium finish

Mary Kom is one such great athlete, who just amazes everyone with her will and determination in fighting for both her and nation’s glory. She is the face of women boxing in last decade or so and was one of major reasons for inclusion of women’s boxing in Olympics. Mary has a great chance to bid adieu high as she needs just two wins for a medal at Olympics with only 12 boxers in her category. But 12 are the best in world, so there in need a bit of luck. She might have missed out on a medal at recently held world championship but no one in the world is ready to count her out. With her top ranking, Mary Kom might be seeded high and get a bye into quarter-finals straightly, making her chances brighten more.

A gold medal is a wish and prayer, because bronze is a surety.

Vijender Singh (Middleweight, 75kg) – A hopeful

Vijender is sole responsible for what Indian boxers getting now. He not only reached dizzy heights after bronze medal at Beijing Olympics, but also bought boxing out of darkness in India. Vijender, a former world no.1 and Asian games gold medalist will be gunning for back to back medal in his record third Olympics. Draws are not announced yet but still his toughest fights will be from quarters against better ranked players. Uzbek Abbos Atoev and Ukrainian Evhen Khytrov are clear favourties for gold. A poor recent form also dents the chances for Vijender.

Vikas Krishan Yadav (Welterweight, 69kg) – A medal at distance

A real surprise package he is. A young 18 year old boy stunned everyone with his superb bout in 2010 Asian Games and also got rewarded with gold medal. But that was in 60kg category. Vikas chances are not very high but he is well capable of producing something like Bakhyt Sarsekbayev, who came out of nowhere to win gold medal at Beijing Olympics.

Shiva Thapa (Bantamweight, 56kg) – A medal at sight

Watch out for him

You can’t better than this at 18 years, are you? Shiva Thapa, the youngest India boxer ever to qualify for Olympics is one of the serious contenders in Bantamweight boxing event. His shoulders already rubbed gold medal at Hyder Aliveye Cup in 2008 and the European Grand Prix in 2009, and silver at the AIBA World Junior Boxing in 2010. Shiva chances are maximized because all four medal winners of last Olympics moved out. Lazaro Alvarez of Cuba and host nation Great Britain’s Luke Campbell are top favourites.

If Shiva avoids either of two until semi, then a bronze medal is assured and chances for silver too.

Sumit Sangwan (81kg) – A medal is possible

Another young sensation in the Indian ranks whose recent form really makes him as one of the contenders for medal at Light Heavyweight. Sumit won gold medal at Asian Olympic qualifiers and booked his ticket for London. Apart from Cuba’s Julio Cesar la Cruz, there are no clear names in medal contenders. Talked as very much open contest this year, avoiding Cruz, Russia’s Egor Mekhontsev and Germany’s Enrico Koelling till semi’s will make Sumit sweat with his medal chances.

Devendro Singh (49kg), Jai Bhagwan (60) and Manoj Kumar (64kg), all are good but their chances are far too little. They might spring one or two surprises wins but a medal is difficult with number of overwhelming favourites in their category.

India’s quest for gold medal lies here in the hands of Mary Kom and apart from that, there are very good chances for two more medals.

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