After failing to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, India's boxing ace M C Mary Kom bounced back in style, beating Pinki Jangra in the selection trials in Patiala, on Wednesday, to qualify for the Asian Games.
It was sweet revenge for Mary, who was beaten by Pinki in the women's 51kg category in the trials for the Commonwealth Games.
Pinki went on to win a bronze medal in Glasgow.
"I am very happy. A lot of hard work and sacrifice has gone into this. I am happy that I won this important match. This was only possible because of all the love and support of all my fans and well-wishers in India," a jubilant Mary told Rediff.com after her bout.
In her first bout of the trials on Tuesday, Mary had got the better Sonia Lather to set up the decider against Pinki, the winner getting the nod for next month’s Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Mary was back to her best against Pinki and came out firing when it mattered the most.
"She was at her dominating best. She started off with a bang and dominated the first round against Pinki. Mary was a bit defensive in the next two rounds as she looked to conserve energy before launching another attack in the last round to win the match comfortably," Nikhil Latey, Director of Sports Science and Rehabilitation at Olympic Gold Quest, said from Patiala after witnessing the bout.
Mary had won a historic bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but had to take a lengthy 18-month lay-off following gall bladder surgery last September and giving birth to her third son, Prince.
Earlier in May, she decided to make a comeback and had a training camp, courtesy of OGQ in Balewadi, Pune. The five-time World champion underwent a rigorous training for nearly four weeks, and even had her coach Charles Atkinson fly down from Liverpool to oversee her programme.
Asked whether she was under any pressure after her loss to Pinki in the trials for the Glasgow Games, Mary replied: "I was not feeling any pressure. Even when I was not 100 percent earlier I was still competing against them. In fact, I don't feel the decision was fair during the Commonwealth Games trials.
"The comeback was not easy, but I am happy I was able to make it for Asian Games."
Image: M C Mary Kom