Mary Kom affirms to emulate Sharmila's resilience in the ring
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 04 2011: Saluting the spirit of Manipuri women, world women boxing champion MC Mary Kom has pledged that just like Irom Chanu Sharmila has been fasting for over 10 years demanding repeal of AFSPA to save the people, she would continue to fight it out in the ring to bring more laurels to Manipur.

In an exclusive chat with The Sangai Express at her Langol Games Village official residence today, Mary Kom said there are no field today where Manipuri women have not left their mark.

But of all the contributions made by Manipuri women in the society, she could not help but praise the courage of Irom Chanu Sharmila, who has been fasting for more than 10 years now demanding repeal of AFSPA.

"Sharmila is a young lady.

But she has sacrificed her youth for the people of Manipur, and just as they say, 'the suffering of a woman can be understood only by another woman', I cannot stop thinking about Sharmila and her concern for Manipur and its people", MC Mary Kom said.

"One thing that is always at the back of my mind every time I am out in the boxing ring at international competition is I am doing this for motherland Manipur.

Sharmila must be feeling the same," she added.

MC Mary Kom poses with her children
MC Mary Kom poses with her children

On her interest in boxing, Mary Kom explained that it was with great interest and with a sense of mission that she took up boxing.

She wanted to take Manipuri women boxing to the International level and introduce Manipur to the world.

Towards this mission, Mary Kom has set up a boxing academy at Langol where young boxers including girls are being given training since 2006 .

Presently, 29 young boxers including eight girls and 21 boys are undergoing training at the academy under her guidance.

"My main focus is to train more women boxers and make them excel," Mary Kom said.

Three girls who have honed their talent under her tutelage are today playing at the National level while staying at the hostel of Sports Authority of India, Khuman Lampak.

Mary Kom informed that with exception to some assistance from the side of UNACCO and material support of the Army/Assam Rifles, she has not received any funding or aid from any individual or organisation in running her boxing academy.

Students in her academy come from far off places like Wangjing, Kumbi, Moirang, Khoirentak, Churachandpur, Pallel, Saikul, Thoubal, etc.

So they put up in the academy and practice every day.

Born on March 1, 1983 at Kangathei village in Churachandpur, Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom (M.C.Mary Kom) is the eldest daughter of Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom.

On March 12, 2005, Mary Kom took marital vow with K Onkholer Kom of Samulamlan village, Churachandpur district, and in 2007, the couple are blessed with twin boys.

"On account of my dedication in boxing and the responsibility of running the academy, I have not been able to pay much attention to the affairs of the family.

It is my husband, who has been looking after all these, and it is because of his support that I could concentrate on boxing," Mary Kom said.

Among her achievements at the National level, Mary Kom won gold medals in the 7th East India Open Boxing Championship held at Bengal from December 11 to 14, 2000; Ist women National boxing championship held at Chennai from February 6 to 11, 2001; 2nd Senior Women National Boxing Championship held at New Delhi from December 26 to 30, 2001; National Women Sports Meet held at New Delhi from December 26 to 30, 2002; 3rd Senior Women National Boxing championship held at Aizawl from March 4 to 8, 2003; 4th Senior Women National Boxing championship held at Assam from February 24 to 28, 2004; 5th Senior Women National Boxing Championship held at Kerala from December 26 to 30, 2004; 6th National Senior Women Boxing Championship held at Jamshedpur from November 29 to December 3, 2005; 32nd National Games held at Hyderabad from December 13 to 22, 2002; 9th Senior Women National Championship held at Agra from November 2 to 7, 2008 and 57th All India Police Meet held at Pune from April 6 to 10, 2010 .

At the International level, some of her gold winning performances include 2nd Asian Women Boxing Championship held at Hissar (India) from November 19 to 22, 2003; 3rd Asian Women Boxing Championship held at Taiwan from August 5 to 12, 2005; 2nd World Women Boxing Championship held at Antalya (Turkey) from October 19 to 28, 2002; 3rd World Women Boxing Championship held at Podolsk (Russia) from September 26 to October 2, 2005; 4th World Women Boxing Championship held at New Delhi from November 17 to 24, 2006; 5th World Women Boxing Championship held at Ningbo (China) from November 22 to 29, 2008; 6th World Women Boxing Championship held at Barbados in November, 2010; Witch Cup Boxing championship held at Paes (Hungary) from August 27 to 31, 2002; Training cum competition held at Rome (Italy) from September 2 to 13, 2003; Ist World Women Boxing Tournament held at Tonsberg (Norway) from April 27 to May 2, 2005; Vijle Women BOX Tournament held at Denmark from October 18 to 23, 2006; Asian Cadet Boxing Championship held at Hanoi (Vietnam) from June 10 to 18, 2006; Indo-Sweden Dual Match Boxing Tournament held at Gothenberg (Sweden) on March 21, 2009; Indoor Asian Games held at Hanoi (Vietnam) from October 30 to November 7, 2009 and 5th Asian Women Boxing Championship held at Astana (Kazakhstan) from May 23 to 30, 2010 .

In recognition of her achievements, Mary Kom has also been decorated with various awards and titles including Arjuna Award in 2003; Padmashree in 2005, NE People's Choice Awards in 2006, Indian Real Heroes Award in 2007, Pepsi MTV Youthicon in 2008, Param Poorjaniya Shri Guruji Puruskar in 2009, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2009, North East Excellence Award in 2009, Sports Women of the Year 2008-09 and YFLO Women Achievers 2009-2010 .

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