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Ailing father inspires boxer to medal

New Delhi: Illness in family can be depressing but for Indian boxer Jasveer Ahlawat, the news of his father being diagnosed with throat cancer became motivational as he bagged a bronze medal in the 21st President`s Cup in Indonesia.

The 24-year-old was in a hurry to head back home after landing in the country today to be with his ailing father, Ranbir Singh, whose treatment has only just started.

"I was unnerved when I first got to know of it just days before I left for Jakarta. I will be heading home now to take care of his treatment," said Jasveer.

"He has been my biggest support through all these years of struggle. The doctors have said that he would recover and God willing he will," he added.

The light heavyweight 81kg boxer rarely gets a chance to compete in international events as his weight category is mostly represented by the well-established Dinesh Kumar – an Arjuna awardee. In fact, the last time Jasveer went for an international event was last year.

"If I get more exposure, I can certainly give better results. Going for just one event in a year doesn`t help much," he said.

"Take for instance this event, the first bout that I competed in was against an Iranian Olympian and he had such hard punches that it took a lot from me to win. It drains you but if you are competing continuously, then all these things don`t impact you much," he explained.

Coach Narendra Rana, who accompanied the team, agreed.

"He is technically a very sound boxer but if he doesn`t get enough exposure, there is no point. He should get more international events to improve himself more.

"His performance was excellent in this event. I am very impressed but he should be competing more often to improve himself," he said.

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