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Rediff.com  » Sports » Post-surgery, Mary Kom sets sights on next year's Commonwealth Games

Post-surgery, Mary Kom sets sights on next year's Commonwealth Games

Last updated on: October 01, 2013 14:37 IST

Post-surgery, Mary Kom sets sights on next year's Commonwealth Games

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Harish Kotian

India's boxing queen MC Mary Kom is determined to get back in the ring next year and win the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Mary, who won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in London last year, underwent gall bladder removal surgery earlier this month. The five-time World champion was experiencing severe pain in her stomach due to presence of stones in her gall bladder following which she was asked to undergo surgery, which has now forced her to take a break for recuperation.

"I underwent gall bladder surgery and I am recovering now. I will start training with an eye on the Commonwealth Games next year and for that I need to qualify, so I will prepare accordingly. My ultimate dream is to compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016, but for now I just want to get fit as soon as possible before the Games next year," she told journalists at the Mumbai Press Club on Monday.


Image: MC Mary Kom with her son Prince Chungthanglen Kom and husband Onler
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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'It is a big thing for me that a superstar like Priyanka is playing my role'

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The time away from boxing will allow Mary to dedicate more time to her upcoming biopic, in which the lead role is being played by Priyanka Chopra.

The boxing ace is naturally excited about the movie based on her life, and hopes it will encourage more women in India to take up the sport.

"It is a big thing for me that a superstar like Priyanka is playing my role. I hope it inspires her to give her best performance. We both are excited for the movie and, hopefully, it generates more interest in women's boxing.

"We have already gone through the script and given our approval. Obviously, there will be a bit of masala in the movie, like the song and dance, but I think we also celebrate by dancing and singing whenever we win, so I don't have a problem with that.

"Priyanka came to Manipur and we chatted a lot, and I gave her a lot of information regarding my life. She understood a lot of things; like my life in the village, our culture, our training regimen, my family and other things. The movie will show my tough journey, how I started boxing and the hard time I have undergone," she revealed.


Image: MC Mary Kom with Priyanka Chopra


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'I want to produce a lot of good women boxers for India'

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Mary also recalled an incident in Manipur some years back, when she had just taken up boxing, and how the sport helped defend herself after an autorickshaw driver misbehaved with her.

"I remember, when I started boxing, I was going to the church and the autorickshaw driver was misbehaving with me and saying bad things. I told him to stop and landed a few blows on him. Hopefully, that taught him a good lesson. A few minutes later a couple of football coaches also reached there and gave the driver a good hiding," the 30-year-old said.

She stressed that her aim in life after hanging up her gloves is to produce more Mary Koms who will go on to represent the country and win a lot of medals at the international level.

"Surely, someday, I will retire, but when I give up the game I want to produce a lot of good women boxers for India. I opened my boxing academy in 2007 after a lot of girls came to me and asked to teach them boxing. That is when I decided to help them. The girls are doing quite well; the National champion and State level champion in the sub-juniors are from my academy, which is a very proud thing for me.

"I want to encourage women to take up boxing because now they have a good platform, as the sport is included in the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympics," she said.


Image: MC Mary Kom
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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'I won't go to anyone to ask for funds, not even the government'

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Mary has already made a major contribution to women's boxing through her academy in Manipur, where she is supporting around 30 girls.

Revealing that in the absence of a sponsor she has to chip in from her own pocket to cater to the needs of her wards in the academy, she appealed to corporate houses to come forward and support her cause.

"I won't go to anyone to ask for funds, not even the government, but I will be happy if anyone comes forward to support my academy. I have 30 girls in my academy and I pay from my own pocket towards their training, food and accommodation. Believe me, it costs a lot of money, but I am not complaining. I am sure someday my results will speak for itself and lot of people will come forward to support women's boxing in India."

Mary also expressed hope that the current impasse between the Indian Boxing Federation and International Boxing Association (AIBA) is resolved quickly, saying it affecting the young pugilists as they are unable to compete for their country.

"I feel sad for the young boxers in India as they are not able to compete under the Indian flag because of the ban by AIBA. I have achieved so much, including a medal at the Olympics, but a lot of our boxers are so young and have a long way to go in their career. Such a thing is not good; I am really upset and hope that the matter is resolved at the earliest," she said.


Image: MC Mary Kom
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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