Manipur, IMPHAL, August 8:
“I have won an Olympic medal for my country. But Sorry, I could not win gold. Thank you everyone for so much support and love”
wrote Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte, India’s only woman boxing medal winner at the London Olympics on her Facebook account.
Five times world women’s boxing champion from the state, MC Mary Kom’s run at the London Olympics came to an end today with the star boxing champ settling for an Indian unprecedented Olympic bronze in the first Women’s boxing championship at Olympics.
MC Mary Kom lost to reigning European Champion Nicola Adams of England at the Excel Arena by 11-6 on Wednesday.
“The 29 year old, who beat Maroua Rahali of Tunisia to advance to the round of four, exhibited great courage and determination throughout the tournament, but came up short in the semi-finals against the Briton”, added a press statement of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation.
The statement said, “Right from the beginning of the first round Mary found it difficult to get inside the line of defence of Adams, who enjoyed a greater height advantage as well as reach, and made full use of it”.
“Because of this impediment the Indian relied more on her outside game and straight punches to do the damage”.
“Mary intermittently shimmied towards the centre, looking to attack, but frequently got caught in the Britons counter strikes, which ultimately turned out to be the most damaging for her.”
“Nicola, buoyed by a loud home support and the 2012 WC quarter-final win against Mary, quickly took a 3:1 lead in the first round.”
The IABF statement said, “She soon extended the advantage in the second to 5:2, with help of a crashing left cross coupled with some hard hitting combinations. In the penultimate round Mary, the reigning Asian Champion changed her tactics to a more aggressive approach, but the English boxer was up to the task and managed to add on to her advantage”.
“Down a decisive four point deficit, the Indian tried hard to make a comeback in the final round. But Adams was once again up to the challenge and parried around; landing a few blows of her own.”
“In the end the former World Champion lost on points 11:6 and had to be content with a bronze medal finish.”
“Mary, a true legend of the sport, becomes one of only three Indian women athletes to win an Olympic medal.”
“A shared third place spot at the biggest sporting extravaganza in the world says a lot about her.”
It continued that the 29 year old mother of two jumped a weight division (from light fly weight 48kg) in order to fit into the Olympic program and was up against a taller opponent who stepped down a weight category (from bantam weight 54kg).
“This extraordinary feat, combined with a plethora of medals and accolades makes this diminutive fighter from Manipur a giant in the world of Women’s boxing”, praised the statement.
Meanwhile, it is disheartening for the state that the state government led by the state Chief Minister who also holds the additional portfolio of Sports Minister has failed to praise and encourages the boxer for her historic feat.
The Himachal Pradesh government had announced a cash reward of Rs 1 crore for Vijay Kumar for winning the silver medal in London Olympic in men`s 25 metre rapid fire event.
The Nagaland Chief Minister had also announced an award of Rupees 25 lakhs to archer Chekrovolu from the state for becoming an Olympian and had further announced that Rupees 1 crore will be given to her if she wins any medal in the individual events.
Meanwhile, the Manipur government had announced a special financial assistance of just Rs one lakh to each of the five Olympic qualifiers from the state. It is also believed that the government had already announced Rs 1 crore for Gold medal winners in the Olympics.
Meanwhile, the Manipur Amateur Boxing Association has appealed to the state government to reconsider the state home department’s decision of promoting MC Mary Kom to Addl SP as the same was already announced when she had won the 5th world champion in the year 2010.
A statement of the association has appealed the government to reward Mary Kom with a promotion to a rank above the Addl SP and to recall L Devendro to the state home department by giving him a suitable post.