Mary Kom wins record sixth gold
NEWDELHI, 24th Nov: Indian boxer MC Mary Kom created history by clinching an unprecedented sixth gold medal at the Women’s World boxing Championship on Saturday in New Delhi.
The 35-year-old Mary Kom emerged victorious against Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota in a unanimous 5-0 decision in the 48kg summit clash. This is Mary’s second title in front of home crowd after the 2006 win in New Delhi.
Speaking to reporters after her victory, Mary Kom said: “I would like to dedicate this win to my country.”
Wrapped in the tri-colour, she thanked her fans for their “unstinted” support.
“I am a little bit emotional. There is no (48kg) weight category in the Olympic Games. Because of your love and support, I feel I will be able to qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Four years ago, I was not able to qualify for Rio. I am still suffering from that,” she said.
“Thank you for your love and support. I don’t have anything to give except for a gold medal in the country. I know it will be a bit difficult for me to win gold in Tokyo as I will have to fight in 51kg.”
"... Because of their reach, the taller boxers (who will be in 51kg) will have advantage. But I am still dreaming about winning the gold in 2020 Olympics."
Mary, who already became the most successful woman pugilist in the event's history after reaching the semi-finals, had defeated 22-year-old Okhota in the Silesian International Boxing Championships in Poland earlier this year.
Mary Kom entered the event with a remarkable tally of five gold medals and a silver medal to her credit. She last won a World Championship medal in 2010 – a 48 kg category gold.
Before this World Championships, the Manipuri was tied with Irish legend Katie Taylor (five gold and a bronze) on the number of medals won.
Taylor now plies her trade in the professional circuit. Mary now drew level with men’s six-time world champion Felix Savon in boxing World Championships history. Mary Kom claimed a bronze at the 2012 London Games when the women's boxing was introduced in the Games for the first time but failed to qualify for the Rio Games in 2016. The Manipuri, a mother of three, won a silver in the inaugural edition in 2001 and then went on to win a gold each in the next five consecutive editions -- 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Soon after the historic gold, wishes started to pour in from all quarters, including Prime Minister Narendra, who tweeted congratulations to the ace pugilist.
Sports minister Letpao Haokip, in a release, also conveyed his congratulations to MC Mary Kom on winning the Women’s World Boxing Championship title for the sixth time. He further wished her good health and prosperity in all her future endeavours.
Major General KP Singh of Inspector Genreal Assam Rifles (South) and all ranks of Assam Rifles also congratulated Manipur’s daughter Mary Kom on winning her sixth title.
The passion and hard work with which she has pursued the sport is not only an inspiration for the youth of Manipur but also for the entire country. The achievement will encourage women in Manipur to take up sports in big numbers as a suitable career and act as a lesson in women empowerment. The whole family of Assam Rifles join the people of Manipur in celebrating this impressive achievement, said a PRO IGAR(S) statement.