Mary Kom : I miss tears welling up in my eyes as the India flag goes up

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Mary Kom (Blue) punches Pamela Paoloa Benavidez of Argentina during their quaterfinal, 48kg-51kg bout at ExCel on November 25, 2011 in London, England.

© Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Mary Kom : I miss tears welling up in my eyes as the India flag goes up

Having missed out on representing India at Rio, Mary Kom rued her lack of luck, but looked back with pride at the international wins she brought for the nation. However, India's premier boxer also said that boxing is dead in India with the infighting resulting in no local events being held here.

Mary Kom said at a public event in Mumbai yesterday that, "Boxing in India is almost dead. There are no major competitions held for the past two years in India. I miss tears welling up in my eyes when I see the Indian flag going up after I had won a medal in an international event," reported PTI.

Indian boxing has been in a turmoil since 2012 after the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation was terminated for manipulating elections. Although a new body called Boxing India came to govern the sport in the country, a rift between state units forced AIBA to dissolve the federation in 2014. With no boxing federation, India’s representation in boxing at the quadrennial event has fallen from eight at the London Olympics to three at Rio.

It was unfortunate not to get the wild card, but would continue to play for next three years,"

In fact, the situation has resulted in Indian boxers fighting under the AIBA flag and not under the Indian flag. It was in this context that Mary Kom had expressed her frustration when she said earlier this month, “Our flag is not going up at international competitions and so what is the point in competing? Even if we win a gold our flag is not there so we all feel sad and we all think that it will be better if the federation is formed at the earliest.”

Also read: Mary Kom: Can't see any Indian woman boxer shining anytime soon

Mary Was looking to represent India again at Rio but a shock loss in the Qualifiers left her with no opportunity other than a wild card to qualify for the Olympics. But the Olympic bronze medallist was left heartbroken when she was denied a chance to represent the country again. However, she has made it clear that retirement is not on her mind as she wants to continue for another three years.

"It was unfortunate not to get the wild card, but would continue to play for next three years," she told reporters yesterday.

The Olympian also congratulated athlete Dutee Chand for qualifying in the women's 100 metres event at the Rio Olympics.

Mary Kom said, "I congratulate Dutee on her qualification for Rio Olympics. It is a great honour to represent country at the Olympics. Its a matter of great pride as she became first woman in 36 years after PT Usha to qualify for 100m dash", reported PTI.

Mary Kom went on to heap more praise on Dutee pointing out that qualifying in athletics is tougher than it is in boxing.

"To qualify and winning in boxing at the Olympics is a bit easy compared to Athletics. Therefore, to qualify in 100m is a great achievement. I will always pray for her success," she added.

Also read: Mary Kom: When our flag is not flying high, what is the point of even competing?

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