It ended with an “unacceptable” semi-final loss but Indian boxer MC Mary Kom asserted that she was “proud” of her World Championship campaign and it strengthened her belief of winning a second Olympic medal, come next year.
The 36-year-old fetched her eighth medal, a bronze, in the mega-event making her the most successful boxer in the history of amateur World Championships.
The six-time world champion oscillated between anger and joy while dissecting her performance and the 1-4 semi-final loss to Turkey’s Busenaz Cakiroglu, which India tried to challenge without success.
“I am certainly very unhappy with the judging. This loss is unacceptable to me,” Mary Kom said. “I could never imagine that something like this would happen to me. I am quite shocked.”
But then comes the sense of pride for her performance given that she fought taller and younger opponents all through.
“I think I did very well overall. It is perfect now, yeah it is precious,” she said, referring to the fact that it was her first world medal in the 51 kg category, in which she claimed one in the Olympics back in 2012.
All her previous World Championships medals have been in the 48 kg and, before that, 46 kg categories.
“I think I found the right balance for 51 kg category in this World Championship,” she said. “I knew how much effort I needed to put in, the plans and strategies also worked out quite well.”
Her previous two attempts for a 51 kg medal were thwarted at the quarterfinal stage. And for this reason, she does rate this medal highly but her bigger source of joy is something else.
“It has made things easier for me in terms of planning for Olympics,” she said. “I had never fought the girls I fought this time and you know what, I think it wasn’t all that difficult beating them.
“So I have got a good idea of what awaits me in the Olympic qualifiers and I now have the confidence that I can beat that. The performance has made me stronger, I have got fresh confidence for that Olympic dream. That was the whole plan to start with.”
The Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled in July-August next year and the first boxing qualifiers for the showpiece will be held in February in China.
“I have got the best support I could have hoped for, whether it’s my family or the national federation or the sports ministry. I think I have it in me to repay their faith,” she said.
Besides six World Championships titles, Mary Kom’s incredible career is also studded with an Olympic bronze medal from the 2012 Games, five Asian Championships titles, gold medals at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, besides numerous other international top finishes.
Her mind-boggling achievements, according to Mary Kom, are not a singular effort. She brings in the divine when talking about her team.
“God has been so kind to me and I can’t put enough emphasis on ‘so’ here,” she said. “I live a gifted life, blessed by that almighty and I am immensely thankful for it. I hope I never become arrogant about it.
“I have seen people change [for the worse] after achieving something big in life. Maybe because I have not changed, god keeps blessing me with more. I don’t ever want to be that person who is seen to be arrogant.”