Kuldeep ready to step out of Vijender’s shadows
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When 23-year-old Kuldeep Singh claimed a bronze medal in the Senior National championship at Hyderabad earlier this month, the Punjab boxer not only added another medal to his kitty but was also rewarded with a national camp at NIS Patiala for his effort. Till now the middle-weight boxer has been living in the shadows of Beijng Olympics medallist Vijender Singh, who was always the first choice in the weight category. Now with Vijender expressing his desire to opt for 81 Kg category before the World Championship next year, Singh, a three-time national champion, is hopeful and dreaming it big to shine at the international level.
"Even though I finished with a bronze medal in this year's senior Nationals, I am happy with my performance. I have been taking part in the 75 Kg category for the past five years and did well in my category. This year we attended a month long Railways training camp before the Nationals and the camp helped us get in good shape. The presence of coaches Jaideep Bisht and Jagdish Malik also helped a lot and it showed in my effort in the championship. I was unlucky to lose at the semi-final stage but I will take lots of positives from my performance. The national camp started last week and I am looking towards the training. This time there are a total of 60 boxers in the camp and I believe it will benefit all of us," shared Singh, who first hogged limelight when he won the title in the 75 Kg category at the 2008 Senior Nationals held at Bhathinda. He also bagged the best boxer trophy at the same championship.
Kuldeep repeated the win at Bathinda by following it up with medals in the next two Nationals. He got his big break at the international level in the Czech Grand Prix in 2009, an event in which he won the bronze medal. The pugilist, who belongs to Shadipur village near Patiala, then claimed another bronze medal in the China Open in 2010 and added a silver medal in AK Misra International boxing tournament at Chandigarh.
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