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Mary Kom gets a rousing reception on arrival in New Delhi

Olympic bronze medal winning boxer MC Mary Kom admitted she was not comfortable fighting in the 51kg section in London and she will not hesitate to shift back to 48kg if the weight category is included in Rio de Janeiro.

The five-time World Champion won the bronze as a losing semi-finalist in London, becoming the first Indian women boxer to win an Olympic medal.


Mary Kom (centre) performs a traditional Manipuri dance during a reception in her honour at New Delhi yesterday. PICS/AFP

Speaking at a felicitation ceremony after her return yesterday, the 29-year-old said she faced problems while facing the taller and bigger opponents in the 51kg. “I won the medal and I am really happy. But I did not play well throughout the tournament,” said the candid Mary Kom, who won her five World Championship title in 48, 46 and 45kg class.

Reflecting on her 6-11 loss to eventual gold medallist Nicola Adams of Britain, she said: “I felt I was not playing well. I was getting nervous, may be it was because of the home crowd supporting her (Nicola). I tried my best in the second third round and it was disappointing the referee didn’t award me points for some punches.”

The mother of two had earlier hinted of retirement after the Olympics.

But after her memorable feat, she has put those thoughts on the backburner. The bronze medal has motivated her to carry on till the 2016 Olympics.

“The planning for Rio has already started. The good thing is the weight categories could be increased to six categories there and I can go back to the 48kg class. If that happens, I have a great chance winning a gold.”

Women’s boxing made its Olympic debut in London and competition was held for three categories (51, 60 and 75kg).


A garlanded Mary Kom

Asked about the women’s boxing future, Mary Kom said there was enough talent in India, capable of performing at the big stage. “If we have good facilities, good infrastructure, we can hope to win more medals,” said Mary Kom.

Mary slams referee
Mary Kom also slammed the level of refereeing in the boxing competitions of the London Games.

Mary Kom said the decision making not only affected India boxers and there were protests from boxers across the participating nations.

Controversial decisions were made during bouts of Sumit Sangwan, Manoj Kumar and Vikas Krishan, who lost his fight in the pre-quarter-finals after being declared the winner.

“The boys could not win and I don’t feel good about it. We were expecting two-three medals. There was a lot of politics this time around. A lot of protests were happening,” she said.

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