New Delhi: With the wait for a foreign coach seeming to be never-ending and just a year to go for the Olympics, five-time world champion Indian woman boxer M C Mary Kom has started training with men`s team`s Cuban coach B I Fernandez at the national camp.
Fernandez, who has been with the Indian team for over a decade, is busy with the boys all through the week but finds time for women campers when requested on Sundays.
The women, who used to train in Bhopal till recently, have been shifted to NIS Patiala, where they have finally got air-conditioned training halls for sparring.
Women`s boxing will make its debut at the Olympics next year and Mary Kom (51kg), dubbed `Magnificent Mary` by the International Boxing Association for her record five world titles, is one of India`s primary medal hopes.
"We have been waiting for a foreign coach for a long time now but nothing has worked out. So I just take help from Mr Fernandez on Sundays because he is off that day. His tips are helpful," Mary Kom said on the sidelines of an Olympic Gold Quest press conference here.
"I am glad that we are finally training in air-conditioned halls in Patiala. The camps in Bhopal used to be quite sub-standard. I am happy that the women boxers are also getting the same facilities as men now," Mary Kom added.
The Indian Boxing Federation has been looking for a foreign coach for the women`s team for the past couple of years but has been unable to rope anyone.
The women`s team is for the time being overseen by national Anoop Kumar.
Mary Kom is currently preparing for the President`s Cup next month in Turkey. She would next be seen in action at a London Olympics Test event scheduled in November.
"The focus is on the Olympic qualifiers in May next year. The World Championships is the only qualifying tournament for the Olympics and all my preparations are focussed on that at the moment," she said.