India boxer says she will use AIBA's one-year ban to analyse herself and rivals in preparation of Rio 2016
Even as the Sports Ministry cries foul over the one-year ban slapped by world boxing body (AIBA) on India's Sarita Devi, the boxer in the eye of the storm seems unaffected by the verdict delivered yesterday.
Boxer Sarita Devi with son Tomthil and husband Thoiba Chongtham
AIBA also fined the Manipuri Swiss francs 1,000 (approx R66,000) for her refusal to accept the bronze medal at the Incheon Asiad as a protest against the judges' decisions in the 60-kg semi-final bout that went in favour of her South Korean opponent Park Ji-Na.
"There are no big competitions in 2015, so I'm relieved (with the duration of the ban). This is a fresh opportunity. Ye ek saal main jee jaan se training karoongi (in this one year, I'll give it my all)," Sarita told mid-day yesterday.
"I've won medals in most big tournaments (gold at the 2006 AIBA World Boxing Championship & silver at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games) other than the Olympics. Now, I have the opportunity to target a gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
I owe the nation a gold medal, given how much the country has supported me. I want to win the gold for Sachin (Tendulkar) and the Sports Ministry, who stood behind me in these troubled times," added Sarita, who missed the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Jeju last month, due to her provisional suspension. Sarita (29) can participate in boxing tournaments from October 2015 and believed that the ban will not affect her game.
"The ban won't affect my boxing too much as I'm an experienced fighter. I will try to analyse myself and my rivals during this one-year break," said the boxer, who was also happy that she will get to spend more time with her one-year-old son Tomthil.