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Updated: August 6, 2012 01:23 IST

Mary Kom storms into quarters

Kamesh Srinivasan
Comment (12)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
India’s Mary Kom (blue) steadily fought her way to win against
Poland's K. Michalczuk with smart footwork, not giving up despite a few
threats from her slightly heavier opponent.
PTI
India’s Mary Kom (blue) steadily fought her way to win against Poland's K. Michalczuk with smart footwork, not giving up despite a few threats from her slightly heavier opponent.

Mary Kom fought strongly, and with conviction, to celebrate the fifth birthday of her twin sons, with a 19-14 victory over Karolina Michalczuk of Poland in the first round of women’s flyweight boxing in the Olympic Games at the ExCel Arena on Sunday.

In front of an appreciative Indian crowd, it was an impressive performance from the five-time World champion. Mary Kom, competing in the 51kg category, warded off the challenge from the former bantamweight World champion.

The 29-year-old Mary had the speed and smart footwork to rattle her slightly heavy Polish opponent after a guarded first round, when the scores were tied 3-3. Mary edged ahead in the second round by a point as the two tried to shower punches on each other, without manoeuvring the space for it.

In the third round, Mary was a different boxer. Even as her opponent looked to be tiring, Mary kept her distance for the Polish girl and also landed sharp punches. This was the round that proved decisive as the Indian scored seven while conceding three points.

Desperation

It was desperation in the fourth round for the 32-year-old Karolina as she tried to bridge the gap, but Mary held the upper hand even though the two registered four points each.

The Cuban coach with the Indian team for nearly two decades, B.I. Fernandez was quite pleased and said that Mary fought “very good”.

He said that the quarterfinals against the 24-year-old Maroua Rahali of Tunisia, rather inexperienced in the international arena, should easily pave the way for a medal for Mary in a field of 12.

While Mary, figuring in the bottom half with three-time World Championship runner-up Nicola Adams of Britain, has prepared for the challenges ahead, Maroua will be fighting her first bout after a bye on Monday afternoon.

‘Indebted’

Expressing happiness about her performance, Mary said that she was indebted to the people back home, who were fasting and praying for her success, cutting across all religion.

“The whole family and other people are all sacrificing so much for me and I will try my best to live up to the expectations,” said Mary.

Meanwhile, the Indian camp felt that Manoj Kumar was robbed of victory in the pre-quarterfinals of the light-welterweight category, as the third-seeded Thomas Stalker of Britain, the World Championship bronze medallist, prevailed 20-16 in the pre-quarterfinals.

It was an intense battle on Saturday evening and the Brit had the advantage of a 7-4 lead in the first round. He stepped it up further in the second round by curling his left punches to take the lead to 16-9.

Manoj went on an all out attack in the third round and was rewarded for his effort as it was 7-4 in that round for him.

However, the second round had made the difference, and the Indian camp was disappointed.

“This is not a district tournament. It is the Olympics. Cheating, cheating,” shouted Manoj, while the Cuban coach Fernandez felt that the Indian boxer deserved to get the points in his favour in the same fashion as was the case in the third round.

“My athlete did extraordinary. You saw for yourself what happened,” said coach Gurbax Sandhu.

“I just wanted to get the first fight out of the way. The fans got me through it. It was a tough fight and I felt I didn’t really box too well, but a win is a win,’’ said the Briton.

He was philosophical about the Indian questioning the decision. “I have had fights when I thought that I had won by more than I eventually won by. I just leave it to the judges,” he said.

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Go ahead Mary kom. We are all with you. All the best to you for further rounds...Do well.

from:  Sruthi
Posted on: Aug 6, 2012 at 20:01 IST

@Mr Suneel:
You don't need to rephrase "There were lot of people of all religion
who were praying for me"(which is not even the exact quote). Anyway it
has the same meaning as "There were lot of INDIANS who were praying
for me" if you try to read with the context.
When the journalist wrote "Expressing happiness about her performance,
Mary said that she was indebted to the people back home, who were
fasting and praying for her success, cutting across all religion" so
"people back home" means Indians only right? :)
Let's just enjoy the match and stop reading too much between the lines
:)
And you rock Mary Kom! Respect.

from:  Thoi
Posted on: Aug 6, 2012 at 17:23 IST

What?! not a single comment? You are probably our only hope for a gold. Go for it girl. We would like to see you on the front page.

from:  nongyai
Posted on: Aug 6, 2012 at 14:43 IST

congrats you have done a great job. we make us feel proud.........good keep it u..... all our blessigs are with you.........

from:  bbc oinam
Posted on: Aug 6, 2012 at 14:31 IST

Watched this bout yesterday and was really mesmerised seeing mary play the way she did. She was confidence-personified. At no point of time was pressure seen on her face.
It was nice to hear words or phrases like "Boxing icon", "Living legend" from the commentators about mary Kom. I doubt if many really realise and acknowledge her achievements in our own country. Becoming World Champion five times is no way a mean task. I think even the title "Magnificient Mary" was not given by India.

from:  pratap
Posted on: Aug 6, 2012 at 13:08 IST

Good on you Miss Kom. Now do our country proud by getting a Gold!. I wish the media would show more about sports other than badminton.

All the best, please do make us proud by bringing back one Gold!

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Aug 6, 2012 at 06:47 IST

Wow...impressive! I hope that India becomes more serious about sports.
It's helpful in motivating people to become more health conscious as
well as helpful in improving India's status in the world arena. There
are so many sports where you don't need a lot of money to train
athletes. When poor countries like Kazakhstan can get 5 Gold Medals,
there's no excuse for India!

from:  Lakshmi Singh
Posted on: Aug 6, 2012 at 02:08 IST

Mary has the hunger in her belly to win, if anyone has the chance she can win at least one medal. Best wishes to Mary Kom for the next round!

from:  Jitendra Dutta
Posted on: Aug 6, 2012 at 00:42 IST

An answer to the world that Indian woman are not only 'soft n sexy'
would be when Mary Kom wins a medal. A gold medal would be a shame for
all other Sports including the medal winners of glory (or not) from
India... go.. Mary Kom...go... India is with you...even if we were never
behind you...in your victories so far... just go...

from:  kivenky
Posted on: Aug 5, 2012 at 21:40 IST

Mary just give your level best and MEDAL will be your's....All the best!

from:  prashant
Posted on: Aug 5, 2012 at 21:19 IST

"There were lot of people of all religion who were praying for me"
Rephrased
"There were lot of INDIANS who were praying for me"

Good show anyway....keep moving

from:  Suneel
Posted on: Aug 5, 2012 at 20:38 IST

You make us proud Mary!!!

from:  R Kithan
Posted on: Aug 5, 2012 at 20:03 IST
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