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Mary Kom Aims for Elusive Olympic Gold After Historic World Championship Feat

“I want to qualify for the Olympics. It will be difficult but I will give it my all. I have to change categories so will have to work with the physios, dieticians and all to get there,” said Mary Kom.

Shayne Dias | News18 Sports

Updated:November 25, 2018, 10:37 AM IST
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Mary Kom Aims for Elusive Olympic Gold After Historic World Championship Feat
Mary Kom. (Image: Twitter)
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Even as MC Mary Kom celebrated winning a record sixth gold medal at the Women’s World Boxing Championships on Saturday, the veteran boxer already has her eyes on a prize that has eluded her so far in her career: an Olympic gold medal.

“I want to qualify for the Olympics. It will be difficult but I will give it my all. I have to change categories so will have to work with the physios, dieticians and all to get there,” said Mary Kom.

Mary Kom's sixth gold medal puts her in a league of her own as far as the World Championships are concerned. However, the Olympics are whole different beast.

Her biggest challenge ahead of the Tokyo Olympics will be the prospect of changing categories, since the Olympics does not have bouts in the light flyweight category.

The first time women’s boxing was held as an event in the Olympics was in the 2012 London Games where only three women’s events – flyweight, middleweight and lightweight categories – were permitted to participate.

Mary’s only previous foray into the quadrennial sporting mega-event came in the same year. She clinched a bronze medal in the women’s flyweight category (51 kg) as she lost in the semis to eventual gold medalist Nicola Adams.

She was unable to qualify for the event in 2016 but is intent on not missing out on a flight to Tokyo a little less than two years for now.

But in order to do so, Mary will have to up her weight all while ensuring that it doesn’t affect her natural game.

Experience Matters

However, if there is one thing that has been evident throughout the World Championships it’s that Mary Kom is now adept at using her experience in the ring to box circles around her opponents, especially the younger ones.

She admitted that in her youth she relied heavily on her strength but as time went on, she has become more of a thinking boxer.

“Initially in my career, I relied only on my strength. If you compare my fights back then to my current ones, they’re very different. Now I don’t get tired easily and I think more when I fight instead of simply charging in and giving my all!”

Additionally, her experience of going up against athletes bigger and stronger than her has improved her mental strength too.

“I have fought boxers bigger and stronger than me so that gives me confidence and I have grown mentally stronger. The younger boxers might be sharp and intelligent but I always believe that I can handle them.”

A lot has been said about how Mary Kom, now 35 years old, remains in top shape in a sport that isn’t exactly kind on the body. For her, the mantra is simple: train hard and you will be hard to beat.

“As long as I train regularly, no one can easily beat me. I might still lose! But I won’t go down without a fight; they will have to give their all to defeat me.”

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| Edited by: Arjit Dabas
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