Indian Women Legend in Boxing
A lot of things must have run in Mary Kom’s head as she watched Zhaina Shekerbekova gaining the edge after the first two rounds in the final at the Seonhak Gymnasium here on Wednesday. Her three sons back home waiting for dear mother, the Commonwealth Games miss, the problems in the federation which was hurting boxers in a big way and above all, the legend of Mary Kom.
Zhaina was a fast mover, stronger too and try as she did, Mary could not time her punches properly in the first two rounds. She could not catch up with her opponent and at times, appeared to be just hitting air.But Mary Kom was very determined in the next two rounds. “I caught up after that, it was a bit easier to connect my punches,” said the 31-year-old who took the flyweight title on a split decision and became the first Indian woman to win a boxing gold at the Asian Games.
“I’m very happy as this is my first competition after the Olympics,” said the country’s most celebrated boxer. “I’m a mother of three kids but still I wanted to dream. I focused on my training and all the sacrifice has brought me this.”
Just a couple of months ago, Mary was a very frustrated lady. The trials for the Asian Games had been postponed, the boxers were not properly informed and there was an anxious wait. She had not been happy with the way the Commonwealth Games trials, where she lost to the young girl Pinky Jangra and missed the bus to Glasgow, were conducted. Pinky had won a bronze at Glasgow and wild thoughts ran in Mary’s mind… would she miss the Incheon bus too?
And after beating Pinky in the Asiad trials, Mary, who won a bronze at the last Games in Guangzhou four years ago, was hungry. “I think the Commonwealth Games trial was not a fair one. But that made me more determined to prove myself here and bring the gold medal for my country,” said the former world champion.
“This is a very precious medal because I’ve become the first Indian woman to win an Asiad boxing gold,” said Mary, who took up boxing in 2000.“At Guangzhou, I got a bronze… I jumped over the silver and got the gold here.” She now plans to focus on the world championship, also in Korea in November, and on qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. “Also, I want to produce many more Mary Koms at my academy, I’ll be looking at that very seriously too,” she said.