The world had written me off, says Mary Kom after becoming five-time Asian Boxing Champion
‘Magnificient Mary’ has done it again! The star Indian boxer is a five-time Asian champion.
Mary Kom, the 34-year-old mother-of-three, defeated Kim Hyang Mi of Korea Republic in the 48kg women’s amateur boxing category to clinch the coveted GOLD medal in the Asian Boxing Championship 2017 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Wednesday November 8.
Just like her semifinals bout, the final remained a one-sided 5-0 victory for Mary.
She is already a five-time World champion. The current feather in her cap only builds to her rich legacy.
Mary Kom’s Asian Boxing Championship gold medal record:
2003 – Hissar
2005 – Kaohsiung
2010 – Astana
2012 – Ulaanbaatar
2017 – Vietnam
Mary had to wait for five years to win her third gold medal in the competition. Coincidentally, she won her fifth gold medal after exactly five years!
“I I am really happy the way this Championship has panned out,” Mary said after her victory. “I would like to dedicate this victory to all those who have supported me even though the world had written me off. I would like to thank my coaching staff who worked hard with me over the last few months,” she added.
Every medal is a story of struggle, says the indomitable MC Mary Kom, who considers her fifth Asian Championship gold medal special as it came despite the many roles she has had to play outside the ring in the past one year. Mary Kom, a five-time world champion, and Olympic bronze-medallist scripted history on Wednesday by becoming the first boxer to claim five gold medals at the continental meet in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh. “This medal is very special to me just like all other medals I have won because it has its own story of struggles. Every medal I have won is a story of a difficult struggle. I am hoping this medal, which has come after I became an MP, will enhance my reputation even further. I hope my stature grows,” Mary Kom told PTI in an interview.
Besides being an active and a top-level boxer, the 35-year-old is a sitting Rajya Sabha MP, whose attendance in the house has never been brought into question, a government observer for boxing in the country and a “very busy” mother to her three sons.
Add to this, she is also involved in the running of her academy in Imphal, along with her husband Onler Kom. “I have been an active MP, I am attending Parliament regularly and despite that I trained hard for this championship. Since I am a government observer, I have to be present at meetings related to the running of the sport as well. I hope people realise how tough it is,” she said. “I have been juggling so many roles. I am a mother too, I have three sons to take care of. I don’t even know how I manage to pull it off sometimes,” she added.
The diminutive Manipuri has been the face of women’s boxing not just in India but all over the world, earning the nickname ‘Magnificent Mary’ from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) back in 2010.
She was last year honoured with the AIBA Legends’ award for her long and sparkling career, which also includes a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games.
The pace of her life is sometimes hard to keep up with, admits Mary Kom but throwing in the towel is not an option for her.
“After this (the Asian Championships), I have to travel to Lausanne for an IOC athletes forum. And I hate journeys now. The travelling wears me down, it is actually quite horrible to go from one airport to another in a matter of days. But you can’t walk away from your responsibilities and commitments,” she explained.
Nearly two decades as a boxer and Mary Kom still remains a force to reckon with despite the fact that women’s boxing is now an Olympic sport, which has widened the competition pool. Even at the Asian Championships, Mary Kom was hardly pushed by her opponents, who seemed reluctant to be on the offensive against her.