A swollen face, a ligament injury in the left hand and a terribly groggy throat courtesy a bout of flu – Vijender Singh fought through all this to get a near-perfect birthday present for his son – a Commonwealth Games silver medal.
The former middleweight world number one lost to England’s Antony Fowler in the final last night to settle for his second silver medal in the Commonwealth Games.
“I sustained an injury very soon into the bout. It is a ligament injury in the left hand. It hampered me immensely and allowed him to get the upperhand but I feel I still managed to put up a decent fight in the last round,” the 28-year-old said.
“Trust me, the pain is quite a lot to take when you are constantly getting hit. The injury made me a little conscious also and that affected my overall plan. This morning, I woke up with a swollen face and my left hand is hurting badly,” he said.
That’s not all, the former Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist was also down with flu since the quarterfinal stage of the Games.
“I was taking a paracetamol pill before every bout. But that is no excuse, I lost and that’s a disappointing fact but I am happy that I fought well despite not being physically 100 per cent,” said the strapping six-footer from Haryana.
“It is my son’s birthday tomorrow, so this medal is for him. It’s his birthday present. A gold would have been better but even this silver, I dedicate it to him. He is my world,” added the boxer.
As for the injury that he has sustained, Vijender said he would consult doctors before taking a call on whether to give the September Asian Games a shot. Vijender is the defending gold-medallist at the event.
“Let’s see, I can’t say right now whether I would participate or give it a miss. It will depend on what the doctors tell me. If my fitness is not upto it, I will not put myself at risk by pushing too hard,” he said.
“The scheduling of these events (CWG and Asian Games) is such that these issues always crop up. Either there should be a bigger gap or medallists from one event should not be asked to appear for trials for the next.
I have already fought so much, another trial is too taxing,” he explained. This was Vijender’s third successive CWG appearance. He
won a silver in 2006, settled for a bronze in 2010 before getting a silver again.
Asked whether he is game for a fourth appearance in 2018, Vijender was expectedly non-committal.
“We shall see on that one. Maybe I will, may be I won’t. It depends on a lot of things. So let’s see how life goes from here,” said the affable boxer.
Speaking about his Glasgow experience, Vijender said he agrees with a lot of his other fellow boxers that headguards are needed and should come back.
“I think headguards should come back but the International Boxing Association (AIBA) takes a call on all this. If they say we have to compete without headeguards, we will,” said Vijender.