It's now or never for M C Mary Kom
Nobody would have believed that a mother of three, a Rajya Sabha MP, and a veteran boxer, with five World Championships and an Olympic bronze medal to her credit, would make such a strong comeback. But that's M C Mary Kom for you. Shutting her critics up, she won her fifth gold medal at the Asian Boxing Championships held only a couple of months ago, and is all set to achiever her unfulfilled dream, to win the Olympic gold for India in boxing, setting her eyes now at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
While her dreams, as well as her current dreams is nothing less than inspirational, one needs to have a reality check, as to whether this champion puglist can actually fulfill her dreams or not. While no one can doubt Mary Kom's passion and integrity for the sport, it would be far fetched to claim that she can achieve her target without any hassle.
For the facts, it has been almost a year since Mary Kom has fought in a major tournament, having been kicked out of the 2016 AIBA World Women's Boxing Championships in the preliminaries. While her return to the ring at the Asian Boxing Championships, held in Vietnam is next to memorable, we are yet to ascertain whether Mary Kom is really up for the challenge she has set for herself.
In her own words, her current target is the year 2018, where she shall be competing in tournaments like Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, as well as the World Women's Boxing Championships, which will be held after a gap of 12 years in New Delhi, India. To be truthful, this is the make or break year for Mary Kom. If she performs up to the expectations, and lands up even with a bronze medal for the podium, her dreams for Tokyo 2020 could be realistic.
However, the road to Tokyo is easier said than done. Before even competing at the world stage, Mary Kom has to make sure that she rules over her opponents back home, which includes upcoming boxer Jyoti Gulia, who has won the junior world championship in her flyweight category at the AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships, held in Guwahati, 2017.
If she makes it, she has to make sure that she doesn't crunch down against her prime opponent Nicola Adams, who is the current world, as well as Olympic and Commonwealth champion in her category. Also, she has opponents like Ren Cancan of China, Sarah Ourahmoune of France, keeping in mind the World Championships. A loss to any one of them could mean the end of the road for the Manipuri legend.
Having said that, we look forward to what 2018 has in store for Mary Kom. We do hope that her dreams of achieving a historic gold at Tokyo Olympics do come true and she continues to make India proud in women's boxing.