India Open Boxing: Mary Kom To Make Competitive Debut In 51kg
MC Mary Kom is prepping for Olympic qualification, and in the process, she is to participate in the second edition of the India Open Boxing Tournament kick starting with 35 men and 37 women boxers from India. Among 200 pugilists from 16 boxing nations who will participate, in the $70,000 tournament the London Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom will eye for the one Gold missing from her medal tally. The tournament will be held at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium in Guwahati, Assam from May 20-24.
During this tournament, Kom will be seem making her competitive debut at home in 51kg after opting out of the Asian Championships last month. The reason she backed out was to preparing for the World Championships as the event brings her one step closer to Olympic qualification.
“I have been preparing well for 51kg category. Having got a real idea of the competition in this class in Germany, I am ready to give my best at this tournament and test myself ahead of the World Championships,” said Mary Kom, who led six Indian boxers to gold in the last edition in New Delhi, The Bridge reported.
“I am glad the event will be hosted in Assam this time. With the North-East being a powerhouse of talent, I hope this gives an opportunity to the youngsters to watch and get inspired by watching us live,” she added.
In her nearly two decades long illustrious career, Mary became the most successful boxer in world championships’ history when she claimed the 48 kg category top honours in November last year in Delhi. The mother of three has won gold at prestigious events — the Commonwealth Games, India Open Boxing Tournament and now the World Championships. This time too, the six-time world champion is India’s biggest medal hope.
Earlier this year, her stellar sixth world title triumph secured her the number one position in the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) latest world rankings. Same month she was also seen gracing the cover of fashion magazine Femina.
In the 2012 Olympics, she became India’s first woman boxer to clinch an Olympic medal. Now, the 36-year-old is looking forward to her 2020 Olympic dream, and her punches are becoming stronger than ever.
The Historic Gold
Late last year Kom created history by grabbing her sixth world championship title. She is an Olympic silver medalist and an Asian Games gold medal winner. The 36-year-old has surpassed Katie Taylor’s tally of five world titles and equalled Cuba’s Felix Savon as the most successful boxer (men and women’s boxing combined) in the history of World Championships. No other woman boxer has done it before.
No Retirement Yet
Earlier, there were rumours about her probable retirement, but the boxer stepped up and put an end to them.
She had laughed off all the rumours saying, “I have never talked about retirement, they were just rumours. Even I was shocked when I heard about my retirement.”
The mother of three was a dominant performer at the recent games, tiding over the disappointment of not qualifying for Rio Olympics 2016. Clearly, the celebrated boxer is eyeing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, her lifelong dream.
Feature Image Credit: thetraveltrunk.in