Sports Champion

Indian Olympic Champion: Vijendra Singh

Suryakant

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.

Vijender Singh Beniwal (born 29 October 1985), better known as Vijender Singh is an Indian professional boxer and former amateur boxer from Kaluwas, Bhiwani district in Haryana. He practised boxing at the Bhiwani Boxing Club where coach Jagdish Singh recognised his talent and encouraged him to take up boxing. He was coached by the Indian Boxing Coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu.

Having won medals in different competitions at the national level, Vijender was picked to train and compete at several international level competitions such as the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. At the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, he won the bronze medal after losing the semifinal bout against Kazakhstan’s Bakhtiyar Artayev.

At the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, he defeated Carlos Góngora of Ecuador 9–4 in the quarterfinals which guaranteed him a bronze medal—the first ever Olympic medal for an Indian boxer.

After this win, Vijender was given a number of awards, including the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award—India’s highest sporting honour and Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour. In 2009, he participated at the World Amateur Boxing Championships where he won the bronze medal. In the same year, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced Vijender as the top-ranked boxer in its annual middleweight category list with 2800 points. Vijender represented India at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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