Two Olympic medals in women's boxing possible: Sarita Devi

Two Olympic medals in women's boxing possible: Sarita Devi

Satisfied with her rehab programme post a wrist surgery, boxer L Sarita Devi today said that India can win two medals in women's boxing with her and her state-mate Mary Kom having a great chance in next year's Rio Olympics.

"I can't say about men's boxing but in women's section Mary and I will surely get a medal each," Sarita Devi said here after inaugurating the 1st All Bengal Girls and Womens' Karate and Self Defence Championship.

"We know each other well and she has supported me throughout. Hopefully, we will return with Olympic medals from Rio," she added.

Sarita Devi, who won silver and bronze medals in last year's Commonwealth and Asian Games, respectively, underwent a surgery in the right wrist and then had her rehabilitation in Bangalore with the help of Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ).

"I had a four-month training in Bangalore and now I'll be in Pune. I'm gaining my confidence back and looking forward to coming back into the ring," Sarita Devi, whose one-year ban will get over in September, said.

Sarita Devi was banned for one year and fined Swiss francs 1,000 by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for refusing to accept her 2014 Asian Games bronze medal in an emotionally-charged protest.

She is now pinning hopes to get Olympic quota berths in the World Championships next year.

"Hopefully, we'll get the Olympic quota berths by February next year otherwise there will be the Asian Championships."

However, Sarita Devi said she did not want to talk about the bitter Incheon episode and would like to look forward.

"I want to forget the past and move forward. The whole country supported me and cried for me. Now it's time for me to pay back and I'll let my gloves do the talking and bring back the smile in Rio."

Expressing her gratefulness to Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, who lent a strong support to her cause, Sarita Devi said: "It was a great moment for me. We all grew up watching Tendulkar as a kid and to have his support was amazing."

Tendulkar met the Manipuri boxer at his Mumbai residence and had presented her with an autographed T-shirt.

Sarita Devi underlined the need for the female kids to learn self-defence while addressing the gathering.

"The crime rate against women is increasing and hence it's very important to learn the art of self defence. It will make you stronger both mentally and physically.

"Initially I was afraid of travelling alone in train but after learning martial arts I slowly became confident of myself," she said.

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