MC Mary Kom has chosen not to participate in the ongoing Women's National Boxing Championship in Hisar, Haryana. The legendary boxer has chosen to skip the competition as she wants the next generation of boxers in her weight category to come up the ranks and prove their mettle on the national stage.
"This is not the first time that I have skipped a National Championship event. Why I skip is I want to give an opportunity to upcoming boxers to win a medal in the National games and make a name for themselves on the national stage. If I keep on fighting, they might not get that opportunity to win a medal in the National Championships,” she said to Indian Express.
Apart from Mary Kom, Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain has also decided not to take part in the marquee domestic tournament. However, the two other Olympians in Pooja Rani (75kg) and Simranjit Kaur (60kg) are trying their luck. And both the pugilists have made a dominating start to their respective campaigns with 5-0 wins.
The nationals would have been the first competition where Mary would have returned to action since her heart-breaking 3-2 defeat to Ingrit Valencia in the Tokyo Olympics. The boxer remains India's best bet in the women's flyweight category (51kg) in the upcoming major international events like the 2022 Asian Games and the 2022 Commonwealth Games. In both the competitions, Mary had won gold in 2014 and 2018 respectively.
However, her dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal will remain unfulfilled as to be eligible to compete in Olympic boxing an athlete must not be over 40 years old. She will be over 41-years-old by the time Paris 2024 Olympic Games kick-off which would deem her ineligible unless the rule is changed.
However, her bronze-medal win in London Olympics, means that she has at least one Olympic medal in her kitty to testify her greatness. In five bouts over the course of two editions of the Olympics, she has won thrice and lost twice.