Tokyo: The seasoned Vikas Krishan (69kg) will open India’s boxing campaign in Tokyo Olympics on Saturday against local favourite Sewonrets Quincy Mensah Okazawa, just one of the several tricky opponents that the country’s pugilists will have to get past as they negotiate a challenging path to the medal rounds.
Vikas will be the lone Indian boxer in action on the opening day of boxing competitions at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena and has therefore opted out of the opening ceremony this evening. The 29-year-old is chasing a medal in what is his third and, in all likelihood, final shot at Olympic glory.
He has almost every other medal in his cabinet, including the world championships and is desperately pursuing the Olympic podium, his efforts also including stints in the US professional circuit.
“I cannot be more prepared than what I am right now,” he had told PTI in an interview before the Games and the preparations is set to be put through a very tough test.
Vikas’ 25-year-old opponent is of Ghanian decent and was a silver-medallist at the 2019 Asian championships and a quarterfinalist at the world championships the same year.
If the Haryana-lad crosses this hurdle, he will be fighting Cuba’s third-seeded Roniel Iglesias in the round of 16. Iglesias is the 2012 Olympic gold-medallist and also a former world champion.
The nine Indian boxers in fray at the Games were handed draws ranging from tricky to difficult on Thursday. The group is expected to make up for the disappointment of the 2016 Rio Games where the nation did not win any medals after a bronze each in 2008 and 2012.