Puglist Mary Kom encourages women to up sports to fight crime

PTI| Updated: Jan 16, 2014, 22:12 PM IST

Kolkata: Concerned at the alarming rise of violence against women, five-time world boxing champion and Olympic medallist Mary Kom on Thursday urged women to take up sports for self-defence and to stay fit.

Recalling an incident when she was assaulted by a rickshaw puller, the Manipuri boxer said: "I was travelling alone from the SAI Hostel and when the rickshaw entered a deserted street the puller tried to snatch my bag.

"But I was not one to take it and I punched him hard and he fell down. My coaches arrived and he was handed over to the police," Mary said.

Mary, a mother of three, urged parents to put their children in sports to keep themselves fit.

"Sports is a good way to keep yourself fit. Parents should take the initiative," she said.

Mary said she was determined to become a sportsperson after seeing a lot of action movies in the childhood.

"I had to convince my parents who were against it. I started out as an athlete, but became a boxer after a state championship was held in Manipur," she said.

Terming husband K Onler Kom the pillar of her success, the London Olympics bronze medallist said: "It`s all because of his support I could achieve this. He stood behind me in all the difficult times."

Looking at Rio 2016, Mary said: "I`ll give my best for the gold medal. My experience in London Olympics will be a big help."