Mary Kom ready to battle for first Asiad gold medal
Five-time world boxing champion MC Mary Kom may have seen the best in the business in several sporting meets in India and abroad. Yet the Manipuri likes to tread a cautious path when it comes to predicting her chances at the Asian Games. “You cannot dismiss anybody as mean or the strongest,” declared the Manipuri, as women’s boxing makes its debut here.Perhaps it’s Mary Kom’s modesty that has stood her in good stead. But the mother of two does not want to take any chances as she will be fighting in a new weight category (51kg) for the first time. Mary Kom feels she will have a tough time this time around.With prayers on her lips, she said she was wary of the Chinese, Thai and Japanese boxers. “The Chinese are really good and I have run into them in the World Championships before at Taejon City. They have been specially preparing for the Games. They will give a good fight,” she said.As for her preparations, Mary Kom feels confident. She, however, feels that having to up her weight from 46 to 51, she was struggling a bit. “It’s okay now, but when you constantly chance your weight category, things can go awry. More than concern for winning a medal for India, I am worried about how people back home will feel if I fail. They have been pinning a lot of hopes on me and for them at least I want to win a gold medal here,” she said.advertisementKeeping that in mind, the 27- year-old is sparring with teammates at the gymnasium since her arrival a couple of days ago. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award winner is conscious of the fact that she will have to fight exceedingly well to win a medal.”This is a very big opportunity for me. A gold medal here will keep my motivation level high for the London Olympics,” said the boxer.Asked if she managed to visit the church at the Athletes Village, Mary Kom smiled to say that she didn’t have to do that to pray to the god. “God is in my heart so I don’t have to visit the church,” she said.Now contrast this with another champion boxer Suranjoy Singh who was standing away from Mary Kom. Even as the entire media attention was on her, the CWG gold medallist was waiting patiently for Mary Kom to return so that they could go for practice together.When a scribe introduced the boxer to another of his ilk as a star boxer to watch out for at the Games, the Manipuri brushed aside the remark by saying: “No sir, I have not yet become a star. You will have to wait for two more years, until the London Olympics,” he said.The message from the diminutive pugilist was loud and clear.