Laishram Sarita Devi has asked the fans to cheer for the nation in the Women's World Boxing Championship starting on Thursday, November 15. Devi also stated that she knows Mary Kom and herself are the only names the nation knows in women's boxing and promised not to disappoint the fans.
India’s hopefuls in women’s boxing haven’t changed over the years much. Sarita Devi and Mary Kom had won gold medals in their respective categories during the 2006 World Championships, which was held in New Delhi, and 12 years later the nation is still looking up to them for medals as the capital is readying to host the tournament again.
Apart from the 2006 edition, Sarita has won a bronze 2005 and 2008, and she sounded pretty much aware of the expectations and promised the fans that if they come to cheer for them, they won’t be disappointed.
“I promise, Mary and I won't disappoint our fans. We all are excited that we will be fighting in front of Indian fans. We just want to go out and give our best. After 12 long years, Indian fans will come and cheer for us. This is going to be a big moment for us,” Sarita Devi said in an interview with TOI.
“There is pressure because, when you talk about Indian women's boxing, Mary and I are the names which everyone thinks of first. I would request every fan to please come and cheer for us. All we need is support. This will motivate us,” she added.
Sarita Devi was muddled in controversy during the 2014 Asian Games when, after disagreeing with a decision given against her in the semi-final bout, went on to refuse the bronze medal during the ceremony. Though she had later accepted it, her refusal had led to a suspension. Upon asked about the incident, Sarita Devi stated that she wanted to focus on the future and didn’t delve in the past.
“I don't think about the past. There are ups and downs in every sportsperson's life. I believe in moving on. I fought back and moved on," she said.
36-year-old Sarita Devi might also play her last World Championships this time and while she didn’t hint at it, she expressed her willingness to finish the tournament in a good note by winning a gold, which, if that happens, would be her fourth medal at the tournament.
“I want to win gold. Our coaches have worked a lot with us. We have really worked hard for the tournament. We are all set to face our opponents. I am now focusing on the World Championship and want to finish it on a high," Sarita concluded.
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