Tokyo Olympic 2020: 5 things to know about boxing superstar Mary Kom
Mary Kom is an Indian boxer who was born in Manipur. She came from a very poor family and her parents Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom were both farmers who used to work on the fields.
She got inspired by Dingko Singh, also from Manipur who returned home in 1998 with a gold medal in boxing at the Bangkok Asian Games. After being in awe of this success, Mary decided to give boxing a whirl.
At the age of 15, she decided to leave her town and join a sports academy in Imphal. She trained under coach M. Narjit Singh and kept her boxing passion a secret from her father as initially he was completely opposed it. Her father believed that by pursuing boxing, her face would get distorted and her chances of marriage would drastically reduce.
She didn't let this stop her, she went on to pursue her dreams.
Today Mark Kom is the proud daughter of India. She has achieved a lot and has won many awards that have inspired thousands of youth to take up boxing as a sport. She is the only woman to win the World Amateur Boxing Championship times. She is also the only woman to win medals in each of the 7 (first) World Championship.
Rightfully, she has been nicknamed, 'Magnificent Mary'.
In 2019 she created history. She went on to win the 8th medal in World Championships. She now holds the record for most world medals won in both the men's and women's category. Mary Kom has a very good chance entering in the 51kg category for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the qualifiers of which are to be held later this year.
There are so many lesser-known facts about Mary Kom. Let's see the top 5 lesser-known facts about Mary Kom.
1.Only Indian female to qualify in 2012 Olympics
Even though Mary Kom did qualify and was the only female to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, she was in quite a pickle. All her life she had competed in the 46kgs category, but was made to compete in the 51kgs category at the Olympics. This was because the Olympic governing body decided to only host 3 weight categories.
But she didn't let this stop her. She went on to fight. She made it all the way to the semi-finals where she had a face a fierce competitor. She was up against Nicole Adams from Great Britain, who too have impressive titles to her name.
Adams had a distinct weight advantage over Mary and she won that match 6-11. Mary Kom did give her best shot, but she had to settle for bronze. This in itself was a great deal. Not only was she the first Indian female to qualify in boxing at the Olympics, but she was also the first Indian female to win a medal for India at the Olympics in boxing.