London: India’s star boxer Vijender Singh, whose dream of bagging back-to-back Olympic medals has come crashing down, is planning to change his weight category to light heavy (81 kg) in a bid to win more medals for the country in the mega event.
The Beijing Games bronze medallist currently takes part in the 75 kg category and his decision to move to fight in a heavier category was a “tactical one”.
“I have been fighting in 75 kg for the last six years or so. I will now shift to 81 kg and I hope I will be able to perform well in this new category. I hope to do well for India in this category and look to take part in the next Olympics, Vijender said.
On his last night’s bout against Uzbekistan’s Abbos Atoev in the quarterfinals, which he lost 13-17, Vijender said, “I gave 100 per cent but it was bad luck that I could not win.”
“I gave it all but could not win. He is a very good boxer. I did make some mistakes which cost me. But in sport, it happens. You win some, you lose some,” he said.
“If I get a chance to meet him again, I will try not to make the same mistakes. As a boxer, you learn from every bout and you should not repeat the same mistakes,” he pointed out.
Vijender, a former world number one, said he pulled his back muscle in the second round and that hampered his movement to some extent.
“I pulled my back muscle in the second round. It will be ok soon, I will take treatment for that and it should be alright,” he said.
The 26-year-old Vijender fought gallantly but was found wanting against his strong Uzbek opponent who carved out a 17-13 victory in a nerve-wracking contest.
M C Mary Kom (women’s 51 kg), who has assured herself at least a bronze medal, and Devendro Singh (49 kg) are the two Indian pugilists who are still in the fray. Both will be seen in action tomorrow.