Ace Manipuri boxer Mary Kom, will spearhead India’s 10-member contingent in the World Championships, beginning Thursday.
She is a five-time world champion and London Olympics bronze medallist.
Indian boxing’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva says, “Everybody expects Mary Kom to win a gold medal but it won’t be easy. She has strong competition, she needs to perform as nobody will give her the gold free,” Nieva said ahead of the elite International Boxing Association (AIBA) event which will be held for the first time in India.
But Nieve added that Mary Kom has it in her to deal with the pressure. “Everybody knows her. She has some pressure but she has done this before and we are confident she can do it again,” he said, reports Hindustan Times.
Nieva said his expectation includes a gold and anything less than that will be a below-par result for the hosts. “I expect at least three medals, including a gold. We will not be satisfied if we can’t achieve that. Everything more than 3 medals will be a bonus and great result for us.”
Besides Mary Kom, Nieva expects good performances from some young Indian boxers in the tournament. “Lovelina (Borgohain, 69kg), Manisha (54kg) looked pretty impressive in training sessions but a competition bout is totally different. It is their first World Championship and they are relatively inexperience but they are good boxers,” he said.