Wed, 30 Sep 2009 12:45:49 GMT

Vijender Singh: India's very own Gladiator

Bhiwani in Haryana is the called the cradle of Indian boxing and it is from this city that the country’s latest boxing hero has arrived. Vijender Singh has put boxing on the sporting map of India. In a nation obsessed with 24/7 cricket, Vijender’s efforts have seen the sport of boxing slowly carve a niche for itself.

Vijender Singh: India's very own Gladiator

First the Olympic bronze medal, and then another bronze in the World Boxing Championships in Milan, Vijender's boxing gloves are continuing their winning spree and doing India proud. With success have come adulations, awards and endorsements. But like most non-cricket sportsperson in the country, the beginnings for Vijender had been difficult.

Son of a bus driver in an obscure village in Haryana, Vijender comes from a humble background, with his father doing extra shifts to fulfill his son's burning ambitions. Vijender arrived in Bhiwani where his boxing skills were honed and sharpened at the Bhiwani Sports Authority of India. The young boxer immediately made an impact, winning medals in the junior national competitions.

It was in 2004 that Vijender first tasted competition on a big scale international event when he took part in Athens Games. He contested in the welterweight division but lost to a Turkish boxer in the opening rounds. In 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Vijender Singh punched his way to the semifinals and earned India a bronze medal.

Vijender Singh: India's very own Gladiator

But it was in the year 2008 that Vijender first captured the hearts and minds of Indians, with his quarterfinal result, that assured a medal for India at the Olympics. This victory propelled Vijender into limelight, with several awards and commercial contracts coming his way. In a country starved of Olympics medals , Vijender's victory was quickly lapped up the media.

The Beijing bronze medal though did not quench Vijender's thirst for success and in the World Boxing Championships in Milan; the pugilist was back to winning ways; notching a bronze medal in the competition. Vijender's recent spate of success has seen him clinch the world no. 1 rank in the middleweight catergory. He is the first boxer from India to reach the summit, and we only hope that this lad from Bhiwani wins more medals for India.

Source: India Syndicate

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