Gallant Mary settles for bronze

Gallant Mary settles for bronze

Indian boxer goes down to home favourite Adams in semifinal bout

Gallant Mary settles for bronze

Sweat dripping down her face, Mary Kom waved to her fans and stepped off the ring. Her Olympic journey had ended with a defeat to Britain’s Nicola Adams but the lone Indian woman boxer at London 2012 had firmly made her point.

Magnificent Mary lost the 51kg semifinal bout 6-11 against a fighter whose superiority was never in doubt across the four rounds. Adams, the world number two, moves up to face China’s Ren Cancan in the final while Mary goes home with a thoroughly deserved bronze medal.

“I am sorry that I didn’t come back with gold,” said Mary. “But at least, I have a medal. I have waited a long, long time for this. It has been my dream,” added the 29-year-old.

Mary had promised to give her best against the British gold hope and she did try hard. But the Indian couldn’t land enough punches to make an impact. The Manipuri cop felt she had been denied points in the third and fourth rounds but from outside, it didn’t seem so.

With British Premier David Cameron among the spectators at the ExCel Arena, Adams took the first round 3-1, landing a good combination to peg back the Indian midway through. She maintained the advantage in the next too, a sharp jab and another left on the Indian’s face earning her points.

Mary tried to get close to her rival but more often than not, she was connecting air and clinging to her rival. Adams, on the other hand, kept scoring points breaching Mary’s defence and was a convincing winner in the end.

Understandably, she was delighted with her win. “I am absolutely over the moon and words cannot express how I am feeling. I have been training since I was 12 years old and to think I am nearly there now makes me so happy,” she said, looking ahead to the final against Cancan, who outclassed Marlen Esparza of the United States 10-8 in her semifinal.

Mary, beaten but far from disgraced, thanked her supporters and countrymen. “The entire country was behind me. I have to thank them all for their support,” said Mary, and stressed the fact that her mission is not over.

“I will continue fighting. I have shown that women can do everything. If men can box, women can box too,” she said. “Even after marriage, when people were expecting me to call it quits, I have stayed in the game and that is my message to India’s women.”