| London: India`s medal aspirant M C Mary Kom on Sunday said her first round bout against Poland`s Karolina Michalczuk in the Olympic Games was an "emotional" one as it was the fifth birthday of her twins Rechungvar and Khupneivarand.
"It is an emotional moment for me as today is my sons` fifth birthday. I am not there to celebrate because I am fighting in the ring. I am looking forward to being with them as this is important," she said after her bout against the Polish opponent which she won 19-14.
Mary Kom had great respect for her opponent and rated her as "very strong" but said she used her experience to prevail over her.
"The Polish girl is very strong, but she is a little bit weak technically. If she was good technically no-one could beat her. I beat her because of my experience. I can move back and slip a little bit," she explained.
On being at the London 2012 Olympic Games, she said,"The Olympics are very special. Every athlete works to play at the Olympic Games. This is my 12th year of fighting and I came back out of retirement and changed my weight because I had to take part in the Olympic Games. Luckily, I qualified and today I won."
India`s coach Gurbakhsh Singh Sandhu said Mary boxed intelligently and with good footwork.
"It is a very big day for Indian boxing. She boxed intelligently with good footwork and was scoring and moving."
"I think she demonstrated all the moves. She comes from the north-east of India and I think this has been a very big lift for her and for women`s boxing," Sandhu said.
On whether more women`s weights should be included at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, he said "Changing weight was the only way Mary could get a chance (at the Olympics). She is still more like 48kg (light flyweight). I think they should not cut down the number of men`s weights but add more for women."
Karolina said it was a great experience to take part in the Olympics but she was not lucky enough to proceed any further.
"I am very happy and it was a great honour to be one of the first women boxers (in the Olympic Games). I worked very hard to get here but I wasn`t lucky," she said.
On what she would change in the bout, she said "I would probably change the referee. I don`t feel beaten. I don`t feel like I lost and it was unfair."
On women`s boxing being at the Olympic Games, she said "It is a good thing and it will mean a great development in the sport. And the standard in the future will be higher."
Asked whether she planned to take part in the next Olympics in Rio de janeiro, she said "I will finish studying. I am 33 now so I will not be able to go to Rio."
Karolina`s coach Leszek Piotrowski resigned as the coach, saying that there was no boxing atmosphere in his country.
"There is a very poor atmosphere in the Polish camp and team and I am resigning. There is a split in the Polish boxing federation. For me it is a part-time (job). I am not in it for the money. I am in it for the medals and achievements. Boxing is not my profession, it is my hobby," he said.
First Published: Sunday, August 05, 2012, 22:52