One of the medal prospects for India in the upcoming Commonwealth Games (CWG), boxer Sanjeet Kumar says he does not like to lose, neither in the ring, nor in life.
The 2021 Asian Championship gold medallist will keep no stone unturned to emulate his achievement in the CWG 2022."As I said, I don't want to lose, I just hate losing. So if I win all the matches, I will get gold. The stakes are high for me after Asian Championship. I will try my best to win gold," Sanjeet, the silver medallist in 91 kg in 2018 CWG, told IANS.
When Sanjeet was going for the Asian Championship in Dubai last year, not many backed him to come up with a medal. But he proved many wrong by winning the gold.
When asked what the Asian Championship gold means to him, he said, "It was one of the proudest moments in my life. I beat the boxer (Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan) who had knocked me out. It was a pleasure to win the gold by defeating him.
When he knocked me out in 2018, I had decided to take revenge. I worked hard, rectified my shortcomings and then the result is in front of everyone. I take defeat very seriously."
"The medal became secondary. I never felt so proud after winning any bout. I was determined to win. I knew that I am up against 2016 Olympic silver-medallist and a two-time world bronze-winner.
He had good endurance but was a bit slow in the ring. So in the first two rounds, I was relentless," he recalled.The saddest moment in his life came when the 33-year-old failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
He had sustained an injury during the World Military Games. The bronze medal winner at the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon in the super heavyweight category suffered a bicep tear in his left hand which forced him to go under the knife.
Then the pandemic forced him out of the Tokyo Games. Now he has his eyes set for the Paris Games."The ultimate goal is to win a medal in the Paris Games. The CWG and other events are like a ladder to reach there. The Olympics are completely different.
Everybody wants to win a medal. No medal in any other competition can fulfil that sense of loss of not being able to participate in Tokyo," he said.
The Subedar in the Indian Army has different ways to keep himself motivated when chips are down. He is an ardent reader of motivational books, particularly biographies of athletes.
"Reading motivational books is my favourite hobby. I read autobiographies of great athletes and books related to sports... All sports, not just boxing. The books force you to strive for perfection in everything," he signed off.