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Olympic slot confirmed, finally: Mary Kom

Last updated on: May 18, 2012 18:23 IST

Olympic slot confirmed, finally: Mary Kom

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Five-time World champion M C Mary Kom (51kg) on Friday added another feather to her already crowded cap by becoming the only Indian woman boxer to qualify for the London Olympics despite being on the sidelines after losing in the quarter-finals at the World Championships, in Qinhuangdo.

The 29-year-old Manipuri, who will return without a medal from the mega-event for the first time since its inception in 2001, made the cut after her quarter-final nemesis Nicola Adams of England defeated Russia's Elena Savelyeva 11-6 in the semi-finals.

"Olympic slot confirmed finally! I am so happy," the mother-of-two said.

"I saw the bout. I know the Russian was not very good but I am a bit sad as well because I won't have a medal around my neck this time," added the reigning Asian champion.


Image: Mary Kom


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'Medal is very important for me'

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"Medal is very important for me. I am happy with the qualification, but I am very upset not to get a medal.

"Women's boxing will make its Olympic debut in London in three weight categories -- 51kg, 60kg and 75kg -- and the ongoing World championships are the first and only qualifying event for the quadrennial extravaganza.

In Mary Kom's division, one slot had been taken by China's Asian Games gold-medallist Ren Cancan, who is in final now.

The other slot was to be decided between Mary Kom and North Korea's Hye Kim. While Mary Kom had lost to world number two Adams, Kim went down to Savelyeva in the quarter-finals.


Image: Mary Kom


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Only Indian woman boxer at Olympics

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The winner of the Savelyeva-Adams bout was to decide the second slot for Asia, and, luckily for the Indian, the result went her way.

"I was not tense before today's bout. There was no point in worrying about something that was not in my hands. I only thought about god. God has seen my struggle and I knew my hard work would not go waste just because of one loss," she said.

"I will be the only Indian woman boxer at Olympics. I will be part of history and that really means a lot to me, but I am sad that I won't get a medal," she Mary Kom.

"I wanted to answer my detractors who were talking about my form and fitness, but it's ok, I guess," she added.


Image: Mary Kom

Tags: Mary Kom , Asia

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'I feel sad for Sarita'

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But the results did not favour L Sarita Devi (60kg), as her pre-quarter-final nemesis, Natasha Jonas, lost in the semi-finals.

Jonas had to win the gold for Sarita to get the Asian Olympic slot.

"I feel sad for Sarita, she had worked hard and I can understand the heartbreak she must be going through," said Mary Kom.

In the 75kg division, India's Pooja Rani bowed out earlier after losing in the first round.


Image: Sarita Devi


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