Mary Kom, who will play in the India Open boxing tournament scheduled between May 20 and May 24, has said that he has been preparing well for the 51 kg category. This will also serve her in preparation for the upcoming World Championships which will be a major tournament for Olympic qualification.
Olympic bronze medallist MC Mary Kom will play in the 51 kg category in the second edition of the India Open boxing tournament, to be played in Guwahati from May 20-24. Mary Kom had given a skip to the Asian Championships last month in order to prepare for the World Championships. This tournament will test her well before the marquee event and the boxer stated that she has been preparing well for the 51 kg category.
"I have been preparing well for 51 kg category. Having got a real hand idea of the competition in this class in Germany, I am ready to give my best at this tournament and test myself ahead of the World Championships," said the only six time World Champion, reported PTI.
The Manipur born player is glad that the event will be held in Assam, one among the seven sisters of North-East India, this time.
"I am glad the event will be hosted in Assam this time. With the North-East being a powerhouse of talent, I hope this gives an opportunity to the youngsters to watch and get inspired by watching us live," expressed the 36-year-old.
As many as 35 men and 37 women boxers from India will feature in the India Open. In total, close to 200 boxers from 16 countries will participate in the tournament. The gold and the silver medallists in each category will receive USD 2,500 and USD 1,000 respectively. The president of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) Ajay Singh was delighted to host the $70,000 tournament.
"The India Open is a great opportunity for the Indian boxers. In the run-up to their preparations for the World Championships, they will be facing some of the top boxers including Asian Games and World champions," said Singh.
"BFI vision is to take boxing to every corner of the country. Staging the second edition of the India Open in Assam will give step in that direction and a chance to bring world-class boxers to the North-East region which has already contributed many Indian boxing success stories for India and will inspire the next generation to take up the sport in a much bigger way," he added.
Given that the Olympic qualifications are around the corner, quite a few Indian boxers have changed their weight divisions. For example, Asian Championship Gold medallist Pooja Rani from Haryana, along with Assam’s Bhagyabati Kachari, has again shifted to her original weight category of 75 kg from 81 kg.
Asian Championship Bronze medallist Manisha Moun from Haryana will also shift to 57 kg from 54 kg for the first time, while Silver medallist Simranjit Kaur will make a switch from 64 kg to 60 kg. The Punjab pugilist will be competing with former World Champion and eight-time medallist in the continental event Sarita Devi. Amit Panghal, who won the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games, will be among the favourites to win gold in the 52 kg Men’s category.
Shiva Thapa, who created a record by winning medals in four consecutive Asian Championships, will play in front of his home crowd in the 60 kg category. Ankushita Boro, a gold medallist at the 2017 World Youth Championship, is billed to take home the gold medal in the 64 kg category.
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