Express News Service
CHENNAI: The adrenaline rush has been palpable for Sanjeet Kumar over the past few days. Something that led to irregular sleep pattern for the Haryana boxer. But he does not complain, because this brief inconvenience has hit a major milestone – an Asian Championship gold – in his emerging elite-level career. After landing in India after the continental event, the winning feeling gradually subsided for the Haryana boxer, who on the last day (Monday) was the lone man grabbing the yellow metal. “To be honest, I haven’t slept properly in the last few days until yesterday (Tuesday). I feel this is happening to many of us,” the 24-year-old said.
As the heavyweight (91kg) is a relatively new face in the senior international track, he still gets the fine nuances of the sport. This intense learning, of course, had its side effect as he tried to cope and become spiritually stronger. In Dubai, it was no different as he tried to pull in the pressure and constantly fight with himself (in his mind) and take down opponents one by one.
“There is fear and excitement in my case. I want to enter the ring as soon as possible. I feel that the nine minutes itself is not difficult, but just before the game is very difficult. I feel that you are mentally tough, you can handle it well, ‘said the army boxer.
“There’s a lot going on in your mind when you warm up just before the game and try to make last-minute mental notes on how to beat your opponent on the day,” he adds.
On the last day, he shocked 2016 silver medalist Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan. The whole trip, of course, contributed to his confidence. ‘It was a wonderful experience. Defeating the Olympic and World Championship medalist gives you a big boost. This achievement should help me in the future. ‘
What makes it more special for Sanjeet is that the Indian camp had several obstacles to enter the event. Many tested positive for coronavirus that affected their training. Sanjeet revealed that he also did not contract the virus so long ago and that he was in a bad condition. ‘I contracted coronavirus a few months back. I struggled for 10 to 15 days. And we were unsure if the event would take place for some time or not, and unsure if we would be a part of it. The sport has suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic and towards the end we rely on prayers to participate. ‘
Moreover, this achievement means a lot to his father and brother, who supported him early on. “He (father) had tears of joy,” says Sanjeet. Apart from his family, it was after joining the army where he managed to get traction. “I was not really aware of the talent I had. My brother always told me that I had a lot of spark in me. After joining the army, the coaches and officials also pushed me a lot. They supported me a lot. ., “Says Sanjeet, who joined the army in 2015.
But it was in 2017 where he got his big breather and earned a spot in the national camp, training with some of the best in India. “After meeting / saving a few international matches, it was a given that I could only improve. I knew I would become a better athlete if I worked hard and competed with the best in the business.”