It might be the biggest sporting show on earth but women's boxing legend M C Mary Kom feels the Olympics [ Images ] would not be as competitive as the World Championship -- an event in which the Indian has won five gold medals.
Mary Kom would be the lone Indian woman boxer in fray when the sport makes its Olympic debut in London [ Images ] later this month.
The 29-year-old, who has five gold and a silver from six World Championships appearances, is among the top medal contenders for India [ Images ] at the mega-event.
"I believe the World Championship is more competitive than the Olympics, as the amount of participation is far more at that level. But the fact that this is the Olympics and the first time for women's boxing with only the selected best participating, the level of competition on offer will be top notch," the mother-of-two said.
As part of her preparations for the Olympics, Mary Kom has been sparring with male boxers in the national camp.
"I am bound to get some taller and heavier opponents in London; keeping this in mind my Coach (Charles Atkinson) has designed this training schedule.
"I train and spar with two male boxers, one southpaw and the other orthodox, to get use to both the styles of boxing and it has been very helpful," she explained.
Asked about her plans post-Olympics, Mary Kom said,
"Right now it's just the Olympics; I have played at every other level of the game, but the Olympics. The incentive of a medal at the biggest sporting arena in the world is what drives me.
"Before I hang my gloves I want to win the Olympic medal, and my performance at London will decide my future in the sport," she added.
Photograph: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com