PUNE, India – The Indian heat is searing in the gym when the power goes out.
A physio hurries over with an emergency lamp and boxing star MC Mary Kom resumes battering the punchbag.
It’s hardly an ideal training session for an Olympic hopeful, but then glory never came easily for Kom.
From her beginnings as a poor farmers’ daughter in a remote and troubled corner of India, “Magnificent Mary” has fought her way up to become five-times world boxing champion.
The mum-of-two is now tipped as her country’s best bet to win gold at London 2012 – a position few could envisage when she began learning to box.
“People were discouraging me, saying in India there are not women boxers. That was my first challenge. I took the challenge, I had to prove myself,”
she told AFP in Pune, the western Indian city where she is currently training.
Kom – full name Mangte Chungneijang Merykom – was born 29 years ago in the northeastern state of Manipur, the eldest of four to parents who struggled to support their family through working on the fields.
Source: Asiaone|Sunday, May 06, 2012