“I am really happy the way this Championship has panned out. I would like to dedicate this victory to all those who have supported me even though the world had written me off.”
Yes, Mary Kom has done it again. She is the Asian Boxing Champion for the fifth time. And she has proved why she is one of the best in the continent. Mary won her fifth Asian Boxing Championship gold medal in the 48kg category by defeating Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam with a unanimous 5-0 verdict. The wait is over; Mary Kom is back with a bang.
“This medal is very special to me just like all other medals I have won because it has its own story of struggles. Every medal I have won is a story of a difficult struggle.”
Mary’s win has cleared many doubts that gathered after she failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Many thought that it was over for the five-time World Champion. But when she left the Indian shores for the Asian Championship, she announced, “My first aim is to bring back the Asian gold for India.” She prepared hard for the tournament and after five years of competing in 51 kg category decided to come down to her favoured 48kg class. The decision fetched Mary Kom her first medal in 3 years, the last was won be her in Asian Games in Incheon in 2014.
Switching weight group is not easy in boxing. An athlete has to go through a strict regime and needs complete control of his diet. Mary Kom had won all her World Championships in 48 kgs. But in the London Olympics, where women’s boxing was first introduced, she had to increase her weight to 51 kg class as the Games offered three options-flyweight (49-52 kg), lightweight (59-61.2 kg) and middleweight (70-73 kg). Mary won bronze in London. But as she embarks upon her mission to win more medals for her country, she has again lost her weight.
“I took this weight category so that I can prepare for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coastin Australia. But then I hear that the Asian Games after that will not feature 48 kg category Meaning I will have to once again increase my weight for Jakarta. But I am prepared to fight anywhere”
This is a proud announcement from a 35-year old pugilist and a mother of three. She has indeed set high standards for all upcoming boxers and is an inspiration. Her unparalleled determination has written her success. The story of Mangte Chungneijang from a small Samulamlan Village in Manipur to become Mary Kom is indeed remarkable and inspiring.