'It's an extremely rewarding effort'

'It's an extremely rewarding effort'

Delighted at bagging a gold medal that has remained elusive, newly crowned Asian Games’ women’s flyweight (48-51kg) champion Mary Kom said the victory was a result of all her hard work and determination.

“This is my first event after the London Olympics and I was very determined to win the gold,” said the smiling Manipuri. “I prepared very intensely for this event. You all know, I have three children and it’s not easy being a boxer and a mother at the same time.“I had to make a lot of sacrifices. I had to leave my family and kids behind for this event. I also hadn’t boxed for a long while. It was tough getting back initially.

 However, people around me inspired me and I worked extremely hard in the last three months. When you have the gold to show for all your effort, it’s extremely rewarding and satisfying.
”Mary Kom checked into Incheon with double determination. She was extremely disappointed at having missed the Glasgow Commonwealth Games after losing to Pinki Jhangra in the selection trials. Secondly, having finished with a bronze medal at Guangzhou four years ago, she desperately wanted a title that has been missing from her cupboard.

“The (CWG) trials were extremely disappointing. I don’t want to take anything away from my opponent but I feel the trials were not fair. I wanted to make the Asian Games squad and prove I’m not done yet.”

The 31-year-old has now her eyes on the upcoming World Championship in Korea. “The World Championship is my next target. I want to win one more title. But my dream remains qualifying for Rio Olympics. I’m going to work hard as ever to stay fit.”

Coach A Lenin Meitei, with whom Mary Kom joined forces again to get into top shape, hailed her ward. “When I asked her to come to Delhi for training she was extremely reluctant. I had to convince her. Once she entered the camp, she was extremely dedicated. She worked as hard as a youngster.”

Lenin said they worked on improving her strength. “She was weak in the lower body. We built her strength and then worked on improving her speed. Due to lack of training she had lost a lot of speed. We worked on that aspect as well.”

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