Last shot at Oly qualification, Vijender not nervous

New Delhi: The Asian Olympic Qualifiers are his last chance to book a ticket to the London Games but star Indian boxer Vijender Singh claims he is least bit intimidated by the challenge at hand as the situation is all too familiar.

"I have always been under pressure ever since I won the bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics. It is nothing new for me. It`s there before I leave for any tournament," the World Championship bronze-medallist said on the eve of the Indian team`s departure for the Qualifiers starting April 4 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

"There was pressure when I didn`t get a gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. I went on to get a gold medal in the Asian Games but that hasn`t lessened the pressure. All I can say is that I have become mentally better prepared to deal with it since Beijing," the 26-year-old middleweight boxer told reporters.

Vijender lost in the very first round of the first Olympic Qualifiers — the World Championships in Azerbaijan last year. But being on the edge is nothing new for him.

"It`s the same situation that I faced before the Beijing Games. I had lost in two attempts and was left with just one chance. At that time, there were just two slots available and I went on to win the gold.

"This time, there are four slots in my category. So, I have a better chance. I just have to make the semifinals," he explained. The strapping six-footer from Haryana also became a touch philosophical when talking about his prospects in the Qualifiers.

"I have to give my 100 per cent in the ring and that I will do, but the rest of it is in God`s hands. So hopefully he will be kind to me," he said with a smile.