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I am working hard to qualify for Rio: Mary Kom

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - Mary Kom

I am working hard to qualify for Rio: Mary Kom

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Amlan Majumdar

02/20/2016

After winning the South Asian Games gold recently, five-time World boxing Champion and 2012 Olympics bronze medallist Mary Kom has her eyes set on boarding the flight to Rio in August this year and is targeting the Olympics qualifiers, which will be hosted by China in March, to earn the ticket.

In an interaction with the Times of India (ToI), Mary Kom shared her plans for the Olympics and about the current state of boxing in India.

“So far the preparations have been good. I am trying my best. Whatever my weaknesses are, I am improving day-by-day to do better and better. I am trying to improve and will keep doing so. The results are also showing the same. In future too, I'll keeping [sic] working on my weak areas. Trying to first qualify (for Rio) in March, after that will relax and plan,” the 32-year old said, when asked about her preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

But to qualify for the quadrennial event, the pugilist will have to go through a difficult qualification process, which involves winning the Zonal Olympic qualifiers before participating in the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualification tournament in China in March. The 2012 Olympics bronze medallist is likely to face Pinki Jangra in the Zonal Olympic Qualifiers, but Mary Kom is confident of defeating whosoever that stands in her way to earn the ticket to Rio.

“Whosoever will be my opponent, only the best one will win and board the flight to Rio Olympics 2016. I wish to increase my fitness level. It is important for me to bring it to the highest level then I will have more confidence,” Mary told ToI.

The five-time world champion also lashed out at the current state of boxing in India after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) derecognized the Boxing India last year. An ad-hoc committee governs the sport in India now, and Mary Kom believes that the lack of tournaments and opportunity in the junior section will curtail the chances of the youngsters in years to come.

“The damage is done, especially for the young kids and budding boxers. They are suffering now. In the absence of any permanent body no events are being organised, which is denying youngsters a good practice opportunity. Competitions at both the national and lower level aren't being held. Only few states are participating in them if there are any. This is harmful. The seniors will be around just one or two more years, then what after that? If the young generation is not being motivated, then how the boxing as a sport will survive? And this is very painful,” Mary said.

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