From the publishers of THE HINDU

VOL.33 :: NO.39 :: Sep. 30, 2010

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BOXING

Mary Kom on target

The boxing sensation outpunched Romania's Stelut Duta 16-6 in the 48 kg final of the World Championship in Barbados on September 18.

RITU RAJ KONWAR

After winning the World Women's Boxing Championship title for a record fifth time, India's M. C. Mary Kom is now targeting a medal in this year's Asian Games and the 2012 London Olympics.

The boxing sensation outpunched Romania's Stelut Duta 16-6 in the 48 kg final in Barbados on September 18.

“I would like to thank my husband and my sponsors for giving me the will power and encouraging me. I'm really, really happy and I thank God,” said Mary Kom, a mother of twin sons, from Manipur.

“I celebrated the victory with all members of the squad,” the 27-year-old said.

India will be hoping that Mary Kom wins the gold in 2012 London Olympics, where women's boxing will make its debut.

“I can't say anything about gold, but I will try my level best to win a medal in London,” said the champion boxer.

Women's boxing will also feature in the Asian Games at Guangzhou, China, from November 12 to 27. “I have been training hard to win medals in the Asian Games and Olympics,” she said.

It was a memorable victory for Mary Kom, who became the only woman boxer on the circuit to have won a rich haul of six medals in as many World Championships. The Indian beat the Romanian for the third consecutive time.

Apart from Mary Kom, Kavita Chahal is the other Indian to win a medal in the championship, a bronze in the 81 kg.

It was Mary Kom's first title in the 48 kg category after winning the previous world titles in the 46 kg category.

In the inaugural World Championship in 2001 in Pennsilvania, Mary Kom won silver in the 48 kg category. She won her first world title in 2002 in Antalya, Turkey, and went on to successfully defend her 46 kg gold medal in the next two editions in Podolsk, Russia, and at home in New Delhi. She came back from a two-year sabbatical to clinch her fourth successive world title in 2008 in Ningbo City, China.

This year, the 46 kg category was dropped and the lowest weight category was 48 kg.

She was awarded India's highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, in 2009.

However, India's overall performance in the championship dipped. India was the champion at home in 2006, winning eight medals, including four gold. India finished fourth in 2008 with one gold medal, one silver and two bronze. This time it had to be content with a gold and a bronze.



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