Mary Kom feels that Indian boxing needs a boost at the grassroots level, only then can the pugilists go on and compete at the highest level. The six-time world champion is gearing up for her second appearance at the Olympics, having claimed a Bronze medal at the 2012 London Games.
The Manipuri has pioneered women’s boxing in the country, having not only won a historic Bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics but also claimed six world championships, which is a record. Even though the scene of women’s boxing has got a major uplift in the past few years, Mary Kom feels that Indian’s can achieve more if they are given financial support early on in their careers.
“Even after I had won the world championships three-four times, it was very difficult. There are very few companies that come forward but that happens only after you have reached the highest level, like winning a medal at the World Championships or the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games or at the Olympics,” said Mary Kom, to the Olympic Channel.
“I believe, if individuals with high potential are given the right support at the grassroots level, then they can go the distance and make it to the highest level. I think we lack this support and financial backup. Hence, we are unable to produce top athletes who can win medals on their own at all levels,” added the pugilist.
Mary Kom failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, but she has been on top of her game recently, having already made a cut to the 2021 Tokyo Games at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers. She is one of the major medal prospects for the Indian contingent in the mega event next year.