Vijender, Shiva ready for boxing opener
The Indian boxing contingent led by Vijender Singh will start their Olympic campaign on Saturday.
London: Beijing Olympics bronze-winner Vijender Singh (75kg) will aim for a medal of different hue in his record third Olympic appearance when the boxing competition kicks off here on Saturday.
The weight classes of Vijender and teen sensation Shiva Thapa (56 kg) get underway at the Excel Arena.
While Vijender is a former world number one and a World Championship bronze-medallist, the 18-year-old Shiva is the Asian Olympic Qualifiers' gold-medallist and this duo carries a lot of expectations in their mitts.
An unprecedented eight Indian boxers - seven men and for the first time a woman - are in the British capital faced with sky-high expectations.
MC Mary Kom (51kg), the feisty five-time world champion, will be India's sole representative in women's boxing which makes its Olympic debut on August 5.
Given her mostly unchallenged domination in the ring over the past decade, the Manipuri mother of two children is among the strongest medal contenders.
The fact that she has to win just two bouts to be assured of a medal only adds to the high expectations from her.
And she is not short of motivation either as the 29-year-old could well bid adieu to the ring if she goes on to get a medal and cap a glittering career in which highs have far exceeded lows.
Among the men, Vijender would also look to script history of his own by winning a medal in back-to-back Olympics.
The pin-up boy of Indian boxing came through an agonising qualification process during which he missed two chances before finally making the cut and he is determined to be remembered as the one who brought most medals rather than the one who made most appearances at the Olympics.