Asian Games: Boxer Mary Kom eyes that missing gold medal
India boxer storms into semi-finals to assure herself of a bronze, but is keen on winning gold to add to her five World Championships and London Olympics bronze
Incheon: Mary Kom has more gold medals than she cares to remember, though each one has a story of its own. But her amazing collection still misses a gold medal from the Asian Games. The 31-year-old mother of three, whose biopic has been a big success back home, is still hunting for medals.
India's Mary Kom is declared the winner in the round-of-16 against Korea's Kim Yeji on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Mary Kom, whose full name is Mangte Chungneijang Mark Kom, has an Olympic bronze to go with five world titles besides four from Asian Women's Championships and one each from Indoor Asian Games and Asian Cup, but there is only one bronze from Asian Games in 2010, when women's boxing was introduced in the Asiad.
Yesterday she secured a second Asian Games bronze by moving past China's Si Haijuan, who had beaten World No 1 Ren Cancan in the Chinese trials.
Mary had an unanimous decision, scored at 39-37. Mary won the first round 10-9 and then repeated that in the second, but in the third, Haijuan won 10-9 at which point the scores were extremely close at 29-28 in the Indian's favour.
Into the fourth and final round, Mary again scored better despite the Chinese girl's best efforts to emerge at 39-37 winner. Mary will now take on Vietnam's Le Thi Bang in the semi-finals on Tuesday.
"This girl (Haijuan) beat the world champion in the Chinese trials and she is very strong. The Chinese are always difficult to defeat. I lost to a Chinese (Cancan) in Guangzhou," said Mary Kom, who still dominated most of the fight.
Mary said she missed her coach: "I missed my coach Lalit, who is coming tomorrow in time before the semis. When he comes we will work on a strategy for the semi-finals."
Her husband, who has been a great supporter will also be here, and so will the children, especially her one-year-old third son, Prince, has been left in the care of other family members.
Interestingly, women's boxing in the 48-51 kg has had three legends — Mary, Cancan and Nicola Adams of Britain and their careers are intertwined. Mary Kom has five world titles, while the other two have one each.
It was Cancan, who beat Mary in the semi-finals at the Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010. Two years later, Cancan won the 2012 World Championships gold, when Mary Kom, for the first time, missed out on a World Championships medal — she won a silver and five gold in first six Women's World Championships. Mary lost in the quarters to Adams, who lost to Cancan in the final.
A few months later at the London Olympics, Mary lost to Adams in the semi-finals and then the British girl beat Cancan to win the first women's boxing gold ever at Olympics and also avenged her World championships defeat.