Will be tough to win medal at Rio, says boxer Mary Kom

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) Five-time world boxing champion M.C. Mary Kom on Wednesday said it would be an uphill task to achieve a podium-finish at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.

Mary, who had bagged bronze in the flyweight (51kg) category at the 2012 London Olympics, said the competition at next year’s edition will be the tougher since the size of the draw is expected to be bigger.

“Qualifying for the Rio Games would be tough and winning a medal would be even tougher. I am trying all I can to qualify for the Games,” Mary told media persons on the sidelines of an event here.

“I am only focussed on qualifying for the Olympics right now. I will only think of a medal after I book my ticket to Rio,” she added. “The only thing I can guarantee is that I will give my 100 percent.”

The 32-year-old, who is currently training in Bengaluru, may go abroad in order to prepare herself for the 2016 World Championships, which is the first Olympic qualifying event scheduled to be held in February next year.

“Right now, my target is the World Championships. I will train here in India for around a month. Then I am thinking of going abroad for training. The place has not yet been decided. But it could be UK where I trained before the 2012 Olympics,” she said.

The Manipur pugilist also informed that she had been laid low by a string of minor injuries recently, which prompted her to skip the recent Asian championships.

“I have had several minor injuries in the recent past. But now I am getting stronger day by day,” Mary said.

Talking about the current state of affairs in Indian boxing, Mary said: “As athletes, our job is to win medals for the country. But looking after the administrative side of the sport is the federation’s job. If they fail to do their job then it may also affect the performance of the boxers.”

“Indian boxing is like a family. If those at the helm of the sport do not take the right decisions, the entire family will be affected,” she observed.

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