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A soon-to-be three-time Olympian and former world championships bronze medallist, Indian boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav has been one of the most consistent performers for his country over the past decade.

Born in the Singhwa Khas village of Haryana’s Hisar district, Vikas Krishan moved to the city of Bhiwani after his father, a state electricity department employee, was transferred there. Though Vikas Krishan was just two at the time, it was a turning point in his life.

Bhiwani is often called India’s mini-Cuba because of its proud boxing heritage and the culture soon rubbed off on the young Vikas. He joined the Bhiwani Boxing Club when he was 10 and later moved to Pune to train at the Army Sports Institute.

Vikas Krishan, 29, burst onto the international scene in 2010, winning the lightweight gold medal at the world youth championships in Baku and the bronze at the Youth Olympics in Singapore.

Later in the same year, Vikas Krishan, then just 18, won his first major senior title after clinching the 2010 Asian Games gold in the 60kg category in Guangzhou, China.

In 2011, the Haryana lad consolidated his status as a rising star of Indian boxing after winning the welterweight bronze medal at the senior world championships in Baku.

In fact, it was Ukraine’s Taras Shelestyuk – the eventual gold medallist and future 2012 London Olympic Games bronze medal winner – who halted the Indian pugilist’s incredible run in the semifinals of the premier international tournament. It was, however, enough to earn Vikas Krishan a place for the 2012 London Olympics.

Vikas Krishan made his Olympics debut in the 69kg on August 5, 2012, and faced USA’s Errol Spence Jr. in the round of 16. In what was a close contest, Vikas Krishan edged out Spence by a 13-11. 

However, the American team appealed against the outcome and the authorities overturned the results to call it 15-13 in favour of Spence five hours after the fight was over.

Following his heartbreaking exit from London 2012, Vikas Krishan took a one-year break from boxing and dedicated his attention towards completing his education from the Kurukshetra University.

The Arjuna Awardee returned to boxing swinging, securing the middleweight (75kg) bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. He continued his winning streak with a silver at the 2015 Asian Championships in Bangkok.

In June 2016, he qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics after winning bronze at the Olympic qualifiers in Baku.

At Rio, Vikas Krishan overwhelmed US boxer Charles Conwell in the first round and brushed aside Turkey’s Önder Şipal in the second to cruise into the quarterfinals of the 75kg category.

The Indian, though, lost to Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikuziev – the eventual silver medallist – to finish his campaign just one step short of an Olympic medal.

After his Rio heartbreak, Vikas Krishan returned to his winning ways by securing the 75kg bronze medal at the 2017 Asian Championships in Tashkent and followed it up with a gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

As things stand, the Indian boasts a medal in every major international competition imaginable barring the Olympics.

Vikas Krishan, though, has already ensured a third shot at Olympic glory. He will compete in the 69kg category (welterweight).

He booked his Tokyo Olympics berth at the continental qualifiers in Amman, Jordan, in March 2020 to become only the second Indian boxer since Vijender Singh to qualify for three Summer Games.

“My aim is to win the gold medal for the country. I am going to show the world how boxing is an art and how I am going to make people miss punches and then hit them back,” Vikas Krishan told Times of India.

Vikas Krishan will also go into Tokyo 2020 in good form, having won the 2021 Asian championships bronze in Dubai.

Though Amit Panghal and Mary Kom are being touted as India’s biggest boxing medal hopes at Tokyo, Vikas Krishan, with his wealth of experience, won’t be too far behind.

Outside the boxing ring, Vikas Krishan holds the rank of DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police) in Haryana Police.