There goes a saying “Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict,” and a human being, the blessed creation of God, can sometimes prove to be to the best by defeating the hindrances come in the way. Mary Kom, the famous boxer of India is one of those a kind, representing her country in 2012 London Olympics and already bagged five successive World Boxing Championship title. She successfully made her way through Olympic, combatting extreme difficulties in her life, like a real fighter, probably in a more passionate way than she does in boxing rings.
Mangte Chungneijang, also known as MC Mary Kom or simply Mary Kom, this special child of ‘mother India’ was born on 1 March 1983 in Manipur. Born and raised up in a very poor family, Mary had to face a lot of hardship and inconvenience to pursue her dreams for becoming a boxer. Her family background speaks a lot about it. Her parents Mr. Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mrs Mangte Akham Kom earned their livelihood by working and being engaged in others fields. Being the eldest, Mary helped her parents work in the fields, cutting woods, making charcoal and fishing. On the other hand, she spent a good time looking after her two younger sisters and a brother.
These weren’t the only hurdles that came in her way, resistance from within her family was also very strong as they felt that she could get disfigured and hurt and it might reduce her chances of getting married and this is the reason she had to keep her boxing career as a secret from her parents. But this chauvinistic view of the society could not dominate Mary. She overcame all these societal and familial pressures and emerged victory being a mother of two twin boys and a caring wife along with being an immensely successful athlete.
Although she had a keen interest in athletics from childhood, it was the success of Dingko Singh that inspired her to become a boxer. At a tender age of 18, Mary made her debut at the first Women World Boxing Championship, after just one year of starting to learn boxing, which was held at Pennsylvania, USA. At her debut event itself, she won a silver medal in the 46 kg weight category. A year later, she went on to win the gold at the second Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur (AIBA) World Women’s Senior Boxing Championship held at Antalya, Turkey.
Two years later, competing in the same weight category, she again won gold at the Women’s World Boxing Tournament in Tønsberg, Norway. Being the defending champion at the third Women’s World Championships, she successfully defended the title. And those were the starting days of her golden journey towards her dream to bag gold in Olympic and which is now just two steps away from her.
Mary is now the proud owner of a number of awards and titles. She is five times successive World Boxing champion, a biennial amateur boxing competition organised by the International Boxing Association (AIBA). She is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six World Championships. As of June 2012, she is ranked world no. 4 in the 51 kg women’s category by AIBA. With 2150 points, she is tied with third-placed Elena Vystropova of Russia. She came back from a two-year sabbatical to clinch her fourth successive title in the World Amateur Boxing Championships in 2008, a feat that prompted the AIBA to describe her as ‘Magnificent Mary’.
She was earlier an athlete and switched to boxing after the success of fellow Manipur boxer Dingko Singh. Recently, SportsPro, a monthly British magazine, named her as the 38th most marketable athlete in their list of the world’s 50 most marketable athletes. She added another feather in her cap by becoming the first woman to hold the honorary rank of lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army. The same rank is held by former cricketer Kapil Dev, Indian cricket team Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and shooter Abhinav Bindra.
On 18 September 2010, Kom won the World Boxing Championship title in Bridgetown, Barbados for the fifth consecutive time. She defeated Romanian opponent Steluta Duta by a points difference of 16 to 6. In its successful mission to make women’s boxing an Olympics programme, AIBA selected Kom as one of its three brand ambassadors in 2009. Kom, who always participated in light flyweight category, had to switch over flyweight as her usual weight category was not included in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
She is the only Indian woman boxer who has qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, the quota she achieved in the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships after reaching the quarter-final, where she lost to world number two Nicola Adams of England. Kom is the first woman boxer from India to have won Five world Titles consecutively. She has more than three Asian and eleven national boxing titles. She is a recipient of the Arjuna Award, the Padma Shri Award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and a special award from AIBA.
And now, this star woman boxer of India has qualified for the 2012 London Olympics. She is very much happy for getting a chance to participate in the Olympics but at the same time she is a little tensed as it confers a great responsibility on her and she is to deal with the expectations of the people of India. O Ibobi Singh, Chief Minister of Manipur, said, “A daughter of Manipur and sportsperson par excellence, Mary Kom has emerged as an epitome of inspiration and motivation of our youth today. Whole Manipur celebrates her achievement with indescribable joy.”
In order to honour the boxer, the lane routing to Manipur Sports Village has been named as Mary Kom Road. Sachin Tendulkar, the legendary Indian cricket icon lauded the diminutive boxer as “Got 2 knw abt Mary Kom’s stupendous achievement when I got back frm SA. Simply amazing! All the more remarkable aft taking break n having 2kids,” in his Twitter page.
Today, the farmer’s daughter stands as a shining example of “Mission (almost) Accomplished”. Her most awaited Gold-medal will be at the London 2012 Olympics. People of India is eagerly waiting for her returning from the Olympic with her most awaited ‘gold medal’.
Sudhanya Ghosh Intern Reporter email@example.com
Russia, Attended Kim Il-sung University, PhD in Korean History, Leningrad State University, Professor at Australian National University(1996), Professor at Kookmin University, Contributor for The AsiaN
Nepal, Reporter of The Rising Nepal
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India, SPOTFILMS CEO, FORMEDIA Chairman
Egypt, Managing Editor of the AsiaN's Middle East Bureau, Graduate Student of Mass Communication and Journalism at Ahram Canadian University