Very special to win a medal: Mary Kom

Very special to win a medal: Mary Kom

She worked hard to see herself on the podium at the London Olympics, and upon her return MC Mary Kom wants to savour the celebrations.

Her bronze medal at the Games, though ‘very special’, is only a job half done and the boxer now wants to give her all to have a realistic shot at the gold in the 2016 edition in Rio de Janeiro.

The 29-year-old received a roaring welcome at the Indira Gandhi International airport in the wee hours of Tuesday, and later during her felicitation at the function organised by the Ministry of Tribal affairs, where she even participated in the Manipuri dance wrapping the traditional ‘Phanek’.

The boundless appreciation and expectations also brought with it a pang of fear and the five-time World Champion exclaimed “I am really scared!” when she came on the podium.
She then added: “People of every religion prayed for me and I want to thank them all. I was confident of winning the medal but I wanted to win the gold, so I feel a bit sad. But I will do whatever I can to go for a gold at Rio.”

‘Magnificent Mary’ as she is fondly referred to as, lost 1-6 to Briton’s Nicola Adams in the semifinals to settle for a bronze medal, and recalled how upset were her twins over the defeat. “When I met my sons at the airport, they asked ‘mummy why did you lose?! You should have won’. I felt strange, seeing my sons analysing my performance,” laughed the 29-year-old.

She, however, felt wronged by the referee during her semifinal bout. “It felt weird, may be because of the crowd and nervousness. But I feel the margin should not have been so much,” said Mary, who was accompanied by her sons, mother, father and husband.

Mary also backed the men boxers. “In my 12 years of career, I have never seen so many decisions referred to and changed. I feel sad for the men because we all were expecting at least two or three medals. And we were not the only ones... there were so many boxers who suffered because of wrong scoring,” she said.

The Olympic medal in a way has completed the career graph of Mary, who now hopes to start her academy in Manipur. “It is very, very special to win an Olympic medal. The kind of reception I have got ever since I touched the capital this morning has been phenomenal. Even the state government is coming forward to help me with the land,” said Mary, who was awarded Rs 10 lakh by the Tribal Ministry.

“There is a lot of talent in Manipur. With the right facilities and good infrastructure we can really give boxing a boost in northeast.”

Mary is looking to return to her usual weight category of 48 kg. “But if they do not include 48 kg weight category in 2016, I will go back to 51 kg.”

As of now, she has long and weary days of celebrations lined up but she does not mind.
“God has been very kind to me. I really want to enjoy this moment,” she signed off.

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