Qualifying for Rio tough, winning a medal tougher: Mary Kom

New Delhi: Gearing up to make the Olympic cut for a second successive time, star Indian woman boxer MC Mary Kom yesterday said it would be no walk in the park to fetch a medal even if she qualifies for next year's Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Mary Kom. Pic/Suresh KK
Mary Kom. Pic/Suresh KK 

Mary Kom, who won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Games where women's boxing made its Olympic debut, said Rio would be a tougher proposition given that the size of draw is expected to be bigger. "Qualifying for the Rio Games would be tough and winning a medal would be even tougher. I am trying all I can to qualify for the Games," said the pugilist who was here to felicitate podium-finishers of the recent Special Olympic Games where India claimed 173 medals.

The flyweight 51kg boxer, who is currently training in Bangalore, said she might head abroad in some time to prepare herself for the World Championships, the first Olympic qualifying event scheduled in February next year. "My training is in progress in India. I am based in Bangalore these days and all the facilities provided to me are very good.

I am planning to go abroad as well in the next few months. The place has not yet been decided but it could again be UK where I trained before the 2012 Games," she said. While her focus is completely on her own preparations, Mary Kom said she feels sad about the current state of affairs in Indian boxing. With the national federation left defunct owing to the International boxing Association's sanctions, the sport is being administered by an ad-hoc committee.

"All the problems in Indian boxing right now make me very sad. But as athletes all we can do is focus on our game. I try not to think about the issues that are there. My focus is on training. I tell myself that these are not my problems, my problem is to qualify for the Olympics and win medals if possible," she said.

"But I do hope that people involved try to understand. It would be good if a federation is made because it will be better for everybody. They have to understand that a family cannot function like this. Indian boxing is like a family," she added. During the felicitation today, Mary Kom lauded the spirit of the athletes who participated in the Special Olympics. "They deserve all our applause and adulation. They have done the country extremely proud," she said.

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