When someone refers to boxing in India, the first name that automatically comes to mind, even for the general public, is Mary Kom. The 32-year-old has had a staggering career that has lasted over a decade-and-a-half and has been an inspiration for several other, not just boxers but also sportspersons.
Here are 10 things to know about her:
1.Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom was born on the 1st of March 1983 in Kangathei, Manipur to Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom. She is the eldest of the four children that were born to the couple and did her schooling at the Loktak Christain Model high School until Standard 6 before shifting to St. Xavier Catholic School, Moirang, until Standard 8. She then moved to Adimjati High School, Imphal, for her schooling for Standard 9 & 10.
2.An athlete from her childhood days, Mary Kom developed an interest in boxing after watching Dhingko Singh compete and succeed in several major events and started to train at Khuman Lampak in Imphal under the Manipur State Boxing Coach, M.Narjit Singh.
3.She first tasted success in 2000 when she was given the Best Boxer Award at the First State Level Invitation at the women’s boxing championships in Manipur. Following that, she clinched at the 7th East India Women’s Boxing Championships in West Bengal.
4.Mary Kom had a sensational run between 2001 and 2006 when she won 6 National titles on the trot and during that phase also won the AIBA World Boxing Championships on 3 occasions( 2002, 2005& 2006), twice in the 45kg category and once in the 46kg category.
5.After taking a two-year break from the game, Mary Kom returned to win the silver medal at the Women’s Asian Boxing Championships in 2008 and then later that year won her 4th World title in China in the 46kg category.
6.In 2009, she won the Gold at the Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam and then did one better from 2008, by winning the Gold in the Asian Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan and then won her 5th World Championships crown in 2010 in Barbados, this time in the 48kg category.
7.The same year, Mary Kom won the bronze at the Asian Games in Guangzhou in the 51kg and then two years later won her fourth Gold at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships in Ulaanbaatar in 2012.
8.2012 got even better for her when in August she clinched the bronze medal in the 51kg flyweight category at the London Olympics. Incidentally, this was also the first edition of the Games when women’s boxing was held in the marquee event.
9.In 2014, Mary Kom won her second Asian Games medal, this time, a Gold in the Flyweight category.
10.At the 2016 South Asian Games, Mary Kom clinched the Gold in the 51kg category to get her 2016 off to an extremely positive start.
Things that you may not have known about her
1.Mary Kom is a high school dropout though she eventually completed her schooling in alternate ways and also her graduation.
2.She is the first amateur athlete to win the Padma Bhushan.
3.She is a supporter of animal rights and has been associated with the animal rights association, PETA India.Published 24 Feb 2016, 14:09 IST