Mary Kom vows to defy age and win gold in London
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 13, 2009, 20:15
New Delhi: Four-time world champion MC Mary Kom today hailed the inclusion of women's boxing in the London Olympics as a "dream-come-true" moment and vowed to defy age and clinch gold in the 2012 Games.

"It's a dream-come-true for me. The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision has given me the strength to continue. I would represent my country at the biggest sporting show in the world and have to win gold. It cannot get any bigger then this," an elated Mary Kom told agency.

Women's boxing was today included in the 2012 London Games at an IOC meeting in Berlin. Boxing administrators had earlier lobbied for inclusion in the Beijing Olympics but could not get the IOC's nod.

The International Boxing Association last year roped in Mary Kom as it's brand ambassador and the Indian played a crucial role in making AIBA's campaign successful this time.

"I was a part of the AIBA campaign and I travelled to countries like Sweden to raise awareness about the sport. I am thankful to the IOC for recognising our efforts," she said.

The 27-year-old mother of two, who currently competes in the pin weight 46kg division, would be in her 30s when the London Games are held but the Khel Ratna pugilist says she wouldn't let age become a factor.

"I am ready to make all the adjustments. I will have to increase my weight a bit to fit into the 51kg category which (along with 60kg and 75kg) has been picked for the London Games. Yes, it will be tough at that age but I have the will power to make it happen," Mary Kom said.

Mary Kom has won a medal at every World Championships starting with a silver in the first edition in 2001. The Manipuri clinched a gold in every edition of the event after that, prompting AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu to call her 'Magnificent Mary'.

Her fourth straight world title came in China last year where she went into the competition after just two months of training as the birth of her twin sons had kept her out of the ring for nearly two years.

"If I could do it then, I can do it again," she said. Mary Kom said she would have lost the motivation to continue for long had the sport not got the IOC approval for 2012 Games.

"It's all about motivation. If this had not happened, I would have competed for another couple of years but then my dream would have died," she said.

AIBA included women's boxing in its programme in 1994 and the sport is currently competed in 120 countries.

Compared to the 124 boxers who took part in the inaugural World Championships, there were 218 competitors in the last edition in China.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, August 13, 2009, 20:15

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