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Mary Kom believes her short height won't affect medal hopes

India’s boxing hope MC Mary Kom, ranked fourth in the world, believes her short frame of 5 feet, 2 inches will not come in the way of her Olympic medal dream. The 29-year-old mother of two is confident of packing a punch against much taller boxers in the fray. Mary Kom is India’s sole woman boxer at the London Olympics, but she is hoping to create history at the quadrennial event.


Geared up: India’s Olympic boxing medal hope Mary Kom trains with a medicine ball at Balewadi, Pune yesterday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi¬†

“I admit there are advantages of being tall. But Britain’s top boxer Nicola Adams is just 5 feet, 3 inches too. Height alone does not matter. Aggression and tactics are important too. If a boxer is tall and doesn’t have the aggression, her height is of no use to her,” five-time world champion Mary Kom told
MiD DAY at an interaction organised by Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) at the Balewadi Sports Complex here yesterday.

To be part of the London Games Mary Kom had to switch to a higher weight category of 51 kg from her earlier 48 kg. But she termed it as a blessing in disguise.

Tension free
“Earlier, there was always this tension of maintaining my weight before any event and that used to be a draining exercise. Now, I am tension-free in that aspect. I can eat to my heart’s content. I still need to put on another two kilograms,” she said after a gruelling training session with her personal coach Charles Atkinson.

The Manipuri boxer praised her British coach Atkinson (71) who has brought about a major change in her game in the last three camps that she has had with him.

“Though I had won five world championships, my game had become very predictable. Also, I was weak with my stance. That’s now a thing of the past. As per the new AIBA (International Boxing Federation) rules, if the opponent punches in the guard, no points are given. So my coach has now taught me how to keep my guard up and go on an all out attack, unlike earlier where I used to wait for my opponent to make the first move,” said Mary Kom, who will train in Liverpool for two weeks starting from July 21 before heading to the Games Village in London.

She stressed that though winning a gold is her ultimate dream, she wouldn’t be disheartened if she is unable to achieve it.

“I am aware that the whole country wants me to win a gold medal. Even my two sons Rechungvar and Khupneivar are keen that I finish on the podium. But if I worry about it right now, I cannot train well. I will give my best and leave the rest to God,” she signed off. ¬†

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