He rode in boxing to stay away from the “padhai likhai” and India’s newest Asian champion Sanjeet’s faith in his chances came out quite well as he enjoyed winning an Olympic medal at the “biggest moment” of his decade-long career. . The 26-year-old from Rohtak in Haryana was stripped of Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist and two-time bronze medalist, in the final of the Asian Boxing Championships held in Dubai on Monday. It was a kind of revenge for Sanjeet (91kg), who was eliminated by Levit in the 2018 Presidential Cup in Kazakhstan.
“It’s the biggest moment of my career, even though I’m in the quarterfinals of the world championship. Winning the Olympic medal is a tremendous thing,” Sanjeet told PTI before taking the flight back home.
It can be a huge victory for Levit to continue his fourth gold medal at the continental show and won five medals at this event.
The Kazakhstan has also qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. However, before a huge evening in Dubai, Sanjeet’s most important accomplishments were winning the 2018 National Championship gold medal, India’s gold medal in the same year, and also a victory in the now-canceled Boxing World Series.
He is proud of all his achievements and how far he has come in the ring for the first time in a decade, because his brother himself is also a former coach.
“After seeing my brother I went to boxing, he is also my coach, it was in 2010. It was actually a padhai likhai (studies) getaway for me. It didn’t interest me and my parents really wanted me to focus on education,” he recalled.
“So it was this initial resistance, but I was clear on what I wanted to do. When I started winning medals at the state level, they came too. They are proud of me,” he said.
The Army man received tremendous praise from national coach CA Kuttappa as he watched his progress up close.
“Until a few years ago he was talking about power spikes and he’s gone a long way from that tremendous loss of Levit in 2018. We’ve been working on his speed in the ring as well as his body blows,” Kuttapp said.
In 2019, Sanjeet set the mark for the World Cup in Russia by reaching the quarterfinals before finally losing by a split decision.
Due to all the tremendous show he showed at the Asian Championships, Sanjeet is not in the Calculations for the Olympics in July and August. Last year he was unable to make it to the Asian Olympic qualifiers because he was sidelined due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.
“It was just bad luck. They would have done well if they had gone. Even if they hadn’t gotten a classification, they would have a classification now,” Kuttapp said.
But looking ahead, there are high hopes. “We have to be rigorous in training because he can be calm with us, but he gives in when he pushes. For now, he needs to improve a count. Think for himself in the ring,” Kuttappa said.
“He has a habit of looking at the corner of the team when it’s hard, he has to be a proactive thinker while he’s fighting. We’ll get there, he’s learning,” he added.
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