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After Kehl Ratna, Mary Kom chases Olympic dream

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 18:06

New Delhi: Four-time world champion M C Mary Kom says the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award has motivated her to aim for India`s first boxing gold medal at the Olympics if women`s boxing is included in
the 2012 London Games.

"I can`t describe in words how happy I am at finally
getting this award which had been a long-cherished dream. Yes,
it has come a bit late but I am glad to have got it," Mary
Kom, the first boxer to get the country`s highest sporting
honour, told in an interview.

"I have become a mother of two and as I juggle the twin
jobs of caring for my family and boxing, this award has given
me fresh motivation.”

"If women`s boxing is included in the 2012 London Olympic
Games then I would aim to get a gold medal there," the
25-year-old, who has won an astonishing four successive gold
medals at the World Championships, said.

She was ignored for last year`s Khel Ratna, which went to
Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The Manipuri said she was also happy for Vijender Singh
and Sushil Kumar, who have been given the award on special
consideration for their Olympic performance.

Vijender (75kg) is the country`s first Olympic medallist
in boxing, while Sushil is only the second wrestler from the
country to get a medal at the world`s biggest sporting

"Vijender and Sushil`s achievements are huge and
initially I thought, they were going to get the award jointly
this year. I am glad all three of us have got the award," Mary
Kom said.

"That boxing has got two Khel Ratnas is also a cause for
celebration for me," she added.

Dubbed `Magnificent Mary` by the International Boxing
Association for her domination in the sport, Mary Kom has
become the face of the governing body`s campaign for inclusion
of women`s boxing in London Olympics.

Mary Kom said she was doing all she could to promote the

"I am very optimistic about women`s boxing`s chances of
being made an Olympic sport. The AIBA has made its
presentations and now we are keeping our fingers crossed on
getting a positive response from the International Olympic
Committee," she said.

"It`s my dream to be at the Olympics and I think it would
be realised at the London Games."

Her time away from the ring is taken up by her twin son
and Mary Kom said caring for them is a job tougher than
exchanging blows.

"My twin sons always keep me on my toes. They are always
upto some mischief or the other. I think it`s easier being a
boxer than a mother," Mary Kom laughed.

Apart from this, she has also been kept busy by her
training academy in Manipur.

"I want to give back to the sport which has given me so
much and I think the best way of doing it is to groom
youngsters. My academy is going well and a few of my trainees
are promising," she said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 18:06
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