Mary Kom – Olympic Boxing
Mary Kom, a five-time world champion, guaranteed herself at least a bronze medal when she won the quarterfinal of the women’s flyweight boxing event in London on Monday. The losers of the semifinals are each awarded a bronze. Mary Kom, who for years kept her passion for boxing a secret, has a chance on Wednesday to win a rare Olympic gold medal for India when she faces Nicola Adams of Britain.
The boxer, who moved to a higher weight category (48kg to 51kg) in the Olympics, defeated Tunisian Maroua Rahali with some deft footwork and delivering the right punches to get a third place win. She’s raring to go again, but there is no case of nerves. “I’m not scared, I can face anything…it’s a dream to get an Olympic medal and I hope I win, so bring it on!” she declared. Apart from the intense focus and concentration there is something that Mary uses every time she’s parrying with her opponents in a fight. It’s her secret mantra. “I pray hard the second I enter the ring. And then I remember a story from the Bible, the one about David and Goliath, and I find myself asking God for a fair bout. The hurt I get while fighting doesn’t matter, that I am used to by now,” she said.
Mary’s first boxing coach, L Ibomcha Singh, who first brought her into the boxing ring, said: “She got through because of her consistency. She had a tough fight on Sunday and another difficult one the very next day. I hope she beats Nicola Adams (her opponent in the semi-final) on Wednesday and gets through to the final. I have trained her since 2000 and I know she has the quality to do well, She has worked really hard in training sessions.” He added: “She did what I believed he could. During Sunday’s bout, Mary was a little tense. Today she did it in an excellent manner.” Singh said he is confident that Mary will defeat her opponents in the next two fights.
Mary, serving as additional superintendent of police in Manipur, was into athletics since her childhood days at her native Kangathei village in Churachandpur district before switching over to boxing. She is the only Indian woman pugilist to have qualified for the Summer Olympics in London.