There was little Mary Kom could do to stop her tears. She was emotional and understandably so. As the packed KD Jadhav Stadium chanted “Maryyy Kom, Maryyy Kom”, the boxer took a long walk back to the athletes area.
The chants continued for India’s flag-bearer in women’s boxing as Mary Kom became the first boxer to win her sixth World Championships gold medal. No other woman boxer has won more than five gold medals.
The 35-year-old Indian boxer has now won seven medals at Worlds, a silver to go with her six gold. Her last world title came eight years ago in 2010 and since then she has not won a medal at the World Championships.
But the latest, and perhaps her most stunning, was won by beating Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota in the final of 48kg weight category in New Delhi.
India could have had another world champion in New Delhi but Sonia Chahal had to settle for a silver after she lost her final bout of the 57kg weight category to Gabriele Wahner of Germany.
For most part of the bout, Mary showed why she has survived in the sport. The class and experience was on full display as she outboxed her Ukrainian rival with five judges giving all three rounds to the Indian.
It was the third round in particular that Mary produced a stunning flurry of punches which can be part of any boxing highlight reel.
The 22-year-old Ukrainian showed great confidence against the six-time world medallist, including some provoking in the final few seconds, but none had any affect on Mary.
The second round was a wake up call for Mary as Okhota did connect some powerful punches in her combination and continued to come forward in Mary’s range to accumulate some points.
All this, however, counted for little as the Indian made most of the little openings she got.Her trademark movement backwards to counter the opponent was very effective, as was the case throughout the tournament.
Sonia also adopted this strategy but failed to replicate the success of Mary. She was handed a thrashing by Wahner, who became the first boxer from Germany to win a gold medal at the World Championships. She is also Germany’s first ever two-time medallist.
The German boxer dominated the bout throughout and tackled Sonia’s rough game with ease. Some of the her combinations caught Sonia off guard.
“I have learnt a lot from this tournament and I will try to improve my strength. This was good result for me,” Sonia said after the bout.