AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship: Spotlight Again on Mary Kom as World's Best Descend to New Delhi
For India, once again, all eyes will be on MC Mary Kom as she leads a 10-member Indian contingent comprising of Pinky Jangra (51 Kg), Manisha Maun (54 Kg), Sonia (57 Kg), L Sarita Devi (60 Kg), Simranjit Kaur (64 Kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69 Kg), Saweety Boora (75 Kg), Bhagyabati Kachari (81 Kg) and Seema Poonia (+81 Kg).
Mary Kom. (Getty Images)
The world will descend to New Delhi come Wednesday as the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships commence from Wednesday at the Indira Gandhi Stadium. For India, once again, all eyes will be on MC Mary Kom as she leads a 10-member Indian contingent comprising of Pinky Jangra (51 Kg), Manisha Maun (54 Kg), Sonia (57 Kg), L Sarita Devi (60 Kg), Simranjit Kaur (64 Kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69 Kg), Saweety Boora (75 Kg), Bhagyabati Kachari (81 Kg) and Seema Poonia (+81 Kg).
“We will have a distinct advantage in front of the home crowd and they will definitely shore up our confidence, the training has been excellent which makes me confident that we will do well,” said 35-year-old Mary Kom, who already has five titles to her name, with the last one coming in Bridgetown, 2010.
Talking about her own challenge, Mary Kom added that new boxers are certainly tougher and smarter but her experience is something they cannot match.
“There are boxers from my batch who are still playing in my category since 2001. I know them very well. The new boxers are more tough and smart, they are faster. I will use my experience. The past boxers are more or less the same, I know them, I need to have the energy to play three rounds, it is not about just one round, so accordingly we have to plan, how much capacity I have and unnecessarily punching is also wasting energy,” she said, ahead of the tournament.
Mary Kom has been the flagbearer of Women’s Boxing in the country but the tournament will also offer a glimpse of what to expect in the future.
Indian team’s high performance director Santiago Nieva has said that he expects at least three medals, including a gold and that anything more will be a bonus.
"Lovelina (Borgohain, 69kg), Manisha (54kg) looked pretty impressive in training sessions but a competition bout is totally different. It is their first World Championship and they are relatively inexperienced but they are good boxers," said Nieva.
The Championships will also see first-time participation from Scotland, Malta, Bangladesh, Cayman Islands, DR Congo, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Somalia.
Leading up to the tournament, the pollution in the capital city has been in the limelight with many boxers seen wearing masks.
Though BFI was keen to play down the issue, with BFI President Ajay Singh saying that “it’s not such a massive issue as Boxing is an indoor sport” but Finland’s Mira Potkonen summed it up rather perfectly after she was quoted saying,
“Let's say, if this competition would have been in some other place then I would have gone for a jog outside. But now I concentrate on my boxing training [indoors].”
The organisers on their part will be hoping that all eyes remain on the action inside the ring as India will look to pull off yet another successful world tournament.
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