| Boxer MC Mary Kom has achieved almost everything in her sporting career. She has clinched five world titles; she has been awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India’s highest sporting award; she has been included in the list of top-50 marketable athletes. But one thing that is missing from her cupboard is an Olympic medal.
She has now come close to realising her dream with women’s boxing being included in the 2012 London Olympics. Having qualified for the event, she has set her target at winning an Olympic medal. With just a few days left before the London Games, Zeenews.com’s Biswajit Jha talked to the boxer who is confident of winning a medal.
Are you fully prepared for the London Olympics?
I am prepared for 2012 London Olympics. I have been training under my coach Charles Atkinson who is guiding me to improve my stamina, reflexes and some other aspects of the game. Apart from that, I have been working with other boxers for match like situations during training sessions.
How confident are you of winning a medal for India?
I have been working really hard after qualifying for the London Games. I am really confident of winning a medal. But at the end of the day, not everything is in my hand. I can assure you that I will give it my best shot to win a medal for the country.
How important are the Games for you?
I have been waiting for this opportunity to represent my country at the Olympics for a long time. I have won almost all the medals except an Olympic medal. And I hope, if I win, I will become popular (laughs).
Since you have won so many world championship titles, people expect you to win a medal at the Games. Do you have that pressure of expectation?
Not much. Pressure is always there. When you are competing at the top level, you are definitely under pressure every time you go in for a bout. I know people are expecting a medal from me. But I don’t feel the pressure.
How different will the Olympics be from World Championships?
From a competition perspective, it won’t be any different. The only difference will be that people will keep an eye on me; they will want me to win a medal. And an Olympic medal is the greatest reward and the most prized possession for any sportsperson.
You had to change your category from 46kg to 51kg. How difficult was the shift?
Since the Olympics have this category I have no choice. Initially the shift was difficult as I needed to compete with physically stronger opponents. But I have been practicing hard and hope that I will do well in that category, too.
Recently you have been included in the 2012 list of world’s top-50 marketable athletes. How did you react to the news?
I was really happy after I got the news. It will definitely help sports like boxing to grow in the country.
Thanks Mary for talking to Zeenews.com. We wish you win a Gold medal at the London Olympics…
Thanks a lot.
First Published: Saturday, July 14, 2012, 14:03