After CWG silver, boxer Satish now targets Olympic gold (IANS Interview)

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New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Having narrowly lost the Super Heavyweight (+91 kilogram) title at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (CWG), Indian boxer Satish Kumar Yadav is now looking forward to winning gold at bigger events like the Asian Games and Olympics.

Satish lost by a unanimous 0:5 verdict to Frazer Clarke of England after an extremely hard fought final in which both boxers pushed themselves to the limit.

While he is aware that the standard at the Asian Games — to be held in Jakarta later this year — will be several notches higher, the seasoned Indian Army boxer asserted that his experience at the Commonwealth Games will hold him in good stead.

“I am happy with my performance at the Commonwealth Games. Now I want to win gold medals at the Asian Games and Olympics. However, the overall standard of boxers in those tournaments will be much better than what I faced in Gold Coast.

“The level of competition at the Asian Games will be very close to the Olympics and World Championships. Former Soviet nations like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan along with Mongolia, Thailand, China and South Korea are among the big powers of world boxing,” Satish told IANS.

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“But still, the experience at the Commonwealth Games has given me a lot of confidence. Boxers from Australia, England, New Zealand and Ireland are very strong in the Super Heavyweight category. They have extremely good technique as well. I learned a lot by fighting against them.

“For example, the England boxer in the final had a height and reach advantage over me and he was extremely strong defensively as well. I had to use my brains and change my tactics accordingly during the fight. My coach told me to use my speed since I have extremely good endurance,” he added.

“Of course, the Asian Games and Olympics will be extremely tough. But I have only one target — the gold medal. That is the only medal worth fighting for.”

The judges had awarded Clarke a unanimous 5:0 victory over Satish in the Super Heavyweight final, which came as a surprise since both boxers were equally matched.

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Satish himself was surprised with the verdict and felt that the bout was much closer than what the final decision by the judges indicated.

“Not just me, many among the public at the venue were also surprised and unhappy at the decision.

“The officials from European nations like England or Australia support each other during major tournaments and Indian boxers suffer as a result. This is the reason why Indian boxers are not able to get favourable decisions in very close bouts,” the 28-year-old asserted.

“I am not happy with the fact that the judges decision went against me during the final despite the fact I was the better boxer in that bout. The public was also shouting that Satish is the winner.

“So naturally it does make me sad that I lost the gold and will have to be satisfied with the silver,” he added.

“Our Indian boxers are extremely strong. But sometimes we are at the receiving end of unfair decisions at big tournaments. If the quality of judges improve and decision making is fair then Indian boxers will dominate at the international level and win more medals at the Olympics at World Championships.”

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The armyman also asserted that the previous scoring system where the points scored by each boxer was displayed on the big screen was better than the current one where a panel of five judges award their decisions after the end of the bout.

“The earlier scoring system was more open and transparent. The current system lacks transparency. Even after a good performance, decisions can sometimes go against you,” he rued.

But the pugilist from Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh is determined to put the disappointment in Gold Coast behind him and concentrate of the upcoming tournaments.

“Right now, I am focussed on the Asian Games since that is the next major tournament on the horizon. I will shift my focussed to the Olympics next year after I have earned my qualification,” Satish said.

(Ajeyo Basu can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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