New Delhi: Right from Amit Pangal, Vikas Krishnan Yadav, Satish Kumar, Mary Kom, Pooja Rani to Simranjit Kaur — none of them could live up to the expectations at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Loveline Forgohain was the only exception as our boxers failed to hit the mark.
With many more competitions lined up before the Asian Games next year, former Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Akhil Kumar says the Indian boxers need to change their attitude towards the game. “If you want to be a tiger, don’t act like a tiger, be the tiger,” Akhil, a ACP with the Haryana Police Service, told India Ahead on Monday.
It’s not about skills alone. There are other elements surrounding the sport. “We need to change our attitude. In the current form, we don’t stand a chance to win anything at the world-level competition. As an athlete, you win some, lose some, but having the right attitude takes you ahead in life,” Akhil, who is never known to mince words, said.
And it is not the attitude of the athletes that Akhil is talking about that needs to be changed. It is about the whole culture of sports that needs to change. “When we can win more medals, why should we be happy with one gold medal from Neeraj Chopra. Of course, it is so encouraging for the whole nation to get our first gold medal in athletics. But this is the time to build on this success. I am expecting the boxers to come out strong. We need to believe that we can make more champions,” Akhil said with simmering emotions.
“We had a good depth in the competition. We need to improvise on this and build on this platform. Do we need to ask the right questions — why is Cuba doing so well in boxing? The Cubans are doing well because they have homegrown coaches. We need to promote more and more coaches here in our country,” Akhil suggested.
The former champions also talked about hygiene, without which no one can achieve bigger goals. “We are living at a time when hygiene is an important factor. Athletes should always have a healthy and clean lifestyle to enhance positive vibes around them. Today, we talk about Rahul Dravid and his discipline because he did his basics well. Even in boxing, if you nurse the basics well, success will come — that too consistently,” Akhil added.