| London: Five-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg) would be India`s lone flagbearer and a gold medal hope when women`s boxing makes its historic Olympic debut in three weight categories on sunday.
The 29-year-old Manipuri is the lone Indian woman boxer in fray at the mega-event after making the cut in the only qualifying tournament -- the World Championships in May earlier this year.
The mother-of-two, who is also a multiple-time Asian champion, will face Poland`s Karolina Michalczuk -- a former bantamweight (54kg) world champion -- in her pre-quarterfinal bout on sunday at 1830hrs (IST).
The Indian, who was made the face of International Boxing Association`s campaign to get women`s boxing included in Olympics, needs to win just two bouts to be assured of a medal and first up for her is Michalczuk.
Michalczuk, a 32-year-old, won a bronze medal at the World Championships this year.
"The critics and some of my well wishers still want me to prove myself after 12 years in this sport and after winning five World Championships," Mary Kom has stated.
"I have won my World Championships in 46 and 48kg. These weight categories are not in Asian or Olympic Games. Boxing was introduced in Asian Games only in 2010 and there I got a bronze in 51kg."
First Published: Saturday, August 04, 2012, 14:35