The Indianpost

Olympics will be easier than Worlds: Mary Kom

It wasn’t exactly the way Mary Kom would have loved to qualify for the Olympics, having got through despite being knocked out in the quarterfinals of the recent World Championships. However, such is the confidence of the lone Indian hope for a women’s boxing medal that she declares competing at the Olympics will not be as tough as any World Championships.

“There are too many boxers at the World Championships and all are desperate to qualify. But only select boxers will go to the Olympics. For example, world champions in the 75kg and 60kg categories have failed to qualify,” said Mary, who will be fighting in the 51kg category in London.

Having said that, the 29-year-old Manipuri isn’t taking her quarterfinal defeat to Nicola Adams of England lightly.

“I lost because I faced the European boxers for the first time, and it was my first time in the 51kg category. I couldn’t bring a medal from the worlds but I don’t mind that. Fighting European boxers second time around won’t be difficult. I’ve recorded the bouts and I am learning her (Nicola’s) technique. I can assure that I’ll beat the English boxer in London. I know how the Asians fight. One can surely hope for a medal,” said Mary while asserting that Europeans don’t have a good technique but they are much stronger physically.

Shifting from the 48kg category to 51kg has been a hindrance for Mary, and she is the first one to concede that. “There are lot of boxers who have come into to the 51kg bracket from 54 and 57kgs. The main problem is that they are taller and it’s difficult to fight taller people. Had I participated in the 48kg category in the World Championships, I would have walked it through and easily become the champion,” she asserted.

But how does she plan her preparation for Olympics? Mary says the Indian Boxing Federation has said she could train with the men’s boxing team at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala. But she will be taking a call on it after consulting the CEO of Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), Viren Rasquinha and her coach Richard Atkinson. As of now, she will be spending a vacation with her family for 10-15 days. “Training with the boys will definitely help but at the same time Atkinson and OGQ have helped me a lot as well,” said Mary.

For her, competing at the Olympics is the ultimate opportunity to gain more popularity. “Despite winning the World Championships five times, I am not popular enough. A medal at the Olympics will bring more sponsors for me. The moment I learnt that women’s boxing has been included for the London, I had set my sights on that,” remarked Mary while adding that her husband has been the pillar of her strength as he took care of her son who has a heart disease. “I didn’t know about the disease. It happened during the Asian cup last year. My husband didn’t tell me because he wanted me to maintain my focus,” the mother of two revealed.

Incidentally, the women’s boxing competition in London starts on her son’s fifth birthday.

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