Back from World C`ship, Mary gets set for Asian Games trials

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 19:19

New Delhi: A five-time world champion but
Indian woman boxer M C Mary Kom will still have to undergo
trials to find a berth in the Asian Games squad in an all-new
weight category.

The Manipuri, however, is unfazed by the challenge and
said that she can pull it off riding on sheer willpower and
experience.

Mary Kom (48kg), who returned today after clinching a
historic fifth World Championship title in Barbados,
originally competed in the 46kg category.

She went up a couple of kilograms ahead of this year`s
World Championships and is all set to bulk up more to fight in
the 51kg, one of the three weight categories to have got the
International Olympic Committee`s nod for the Olympics and
Asian Games.

Back after a gruelling journey, Mary Kom will tomorrow
head to the ring once again for the second phase of trials.
The initial trials before the World Championships were deemed
"inconclusive" by the Indian Boxing Federation.

"I don`t have any problem in putting on weight. I have 10
years of experience in international boxing. I`m a mentally
strong boxer and have the willpower to continue competing,"
the 27-year-old mother-of-two from Manipur told reporters
here.

The IBF was willing to delay the trials by a week to give
Mary Kom a break after the World Championships but the boxer
wanted to have it over and done with as quickly as possible.

"We told her that she can take a break because she fought
five rounds in the World Championships and then endured a very
long journey but she would have none of it. Even after her
final bout in Barbados, she trained for two hours. She is
truly a very resolute athlete," said IBF Secretary General Col
P K Muralidharan Raja.

"Yes, we had trials in Bhopal but they were inconclusive
and therefore it was necessary to have another round. I`m
sure Mary Kom would do well," he added.

Asian Games are scheduled from November 15 in Guangzhou,
China next month and Mary Kom`s main challenger in her
division will be statemate L Sarita Devi, a former World
Championship silver-medallist, but who lost in the second
round of the just-concluded edition.

"I don`t think I would have a problem. I am just coming
off a big tournament and would be in good form," Sarita said.

Mary Kom is one of the six brand ambassadors for the
controversy-marred Commonwealth Games but the only one who
would not be seen in action at the event.

Expressing her disappointment, Mary Kom said, "I`m hurt
that women`s boxing has not been included in the Commonwealth
Games. It was saddening but these things are not in my hands."

Col Raja said all efforts were made to get women`s boxing
included in the CWG roster but it ultimately missed the bus
due to lack of support in the Commonwealth Games Federation
board.

"We spoke to (CGF chief) Mike Fennell but were told that
the Board didn`t accept it," he said.

For all the accolades she has won in the ring, Mary Kom
is not too keen to see her twin sons follow in her footsteps
and would prefer seeing them wielding a tennis racquet.

"I don`t want my kids to go through what I have gone
through to make it this far. I don`t want them to get hurt and
do all the hard work that I have done," she said.

"I would want them to be tennis players instead," she
laughed.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 19:19
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