Indians hailed boxer Mary Kom after the six-time world champion qualified for Tokyo 2020 on Monday in what is likely to be her last bid for Olympic gold in an illustrious career.
The 37-year-old pugilist earned a 5-0 win against Irish Magno of the Philippines in the quarter-finals of the Asia/Oceania qualifying event in Amman, Jordan.
The pair squared off in a tight first round before Kom’s experience saw her comfortably take rounds two and three with a strong counter-attacking strategy.
After the bout, the mother-of-three kissed and pointed to a card she held with the words “You have qualified for Tokyo 2020”.
“For this only, so long... I was working so hard,” she told the Olympic Channel. “I had to go through many challenges... The dream is almost complete.”
The Boxing Federation of India tweeted that Kom was a “class act” who “shows the world how to win a bout... with a classic display of counter boxing”.
Fans also took to social media to laud her achievements. “More power to you lady...!! Your perseverance and determination makes #india proud,” one fan tweeted.
“Congratulations Mary Kom. You are a true champion. Go for Glory,” another added.
Kom, nicknamed “Magnificent Mary”, won a silver at the inaugural women’s world championships in 2001, kickstarting her international career. She went on to win gold in each of the next five world championships.
The mother-of-three also won gold at the 2014 Asian Games and the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She took home bronze at London 2012, the first time women’s boxing was featured as a sport at Olympics Games.