Mary eyes gold in female boxing debut at London Olympics

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2011, 13:06 PM IST

Mumbai: Five-time world champion MC Mary Kom is aiming at nothing less than a gold medal when women`s boxing makes its debut in the Olympic Games next year.

"My aim is to win gold in London and I am training harder than ever. I am aware of the billion hopes I am carrying. I can`t let the people of India down.”

"What I am looking forward the most to is to become first woman boxer to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games," the 28-year-old Manipuri said in an interview to `Olympic Review`, the official magazine of the Games.

The pugilist will seek to qualify for the mega event during the women`s world championships next year.

Mary said she found it difficult to believe that her dream of representing the country in the Olympics could come true when she first learnt about the International Olympic Committee`s decision to finally make women`s boxing a part of the biggest sporting extravaganza in August 2009.

"At first I could not believe my ears. But when it was confirmed, I was so happy. I have won everything that could be won, but it was the Olympic gold that eluded me. Now, it`s a dream coming true for me to get the chance to represent my
nation at the Olympic Games when I am at the peak of my career," she said.

The Guangzhou Asian Game bronze-medallist, who has switched to the 51 kg category, revealed that the silver medal winning feat in the 2001 Women`s Amateur Boxing Championships in USA added to her confidence of competing at the highest
level.

"I was still very ignorant about the women`s world boxing scene when I went for the world championship. I wasn`t very confident of winning, but I just tried to focus on my game and went on to win the silver. That itself was great for me.”

"Apart from the silver medal, what I gained most from the experience was confidence. I came to know that I can compete at the highest level if I keep working hard and so I did just that.”

PTI