Manipur’s celebrated boxer M C Mary Kom will be eyeing a record extending seventh gold in the competition which gets underway in Ulan-Ude in Russia from Thursday.
In her eight world championship appearances till date, Mary has bagged six gold medals and a silver medal.
Her most recent achievement was in 2018 in New Delhi.
Mary was quoted as saying that the ‘pressure is still there but I can handle it now’.
“After having lot of experience and competing in many internationals, that has really helped me,” she was quoted as saying.
Despite Mary’s enviable record at the world championships, she is yet to win a world title in the 51 kg category.
Her best performance in this weight division was the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics and an Asian Games gold.
Mary switched to 51 kg at the India Open in May.
She later went on to win gold in the President’s Cup.
So, when Mary enters the ring in the 51 kg category this time in the Russian city, she will have a goal in sight for the World Championships, which will also serve as a preparation for the upcoming Tokyo 2020.
“The World Championships is very important. If we don’t get any medal in World Championships, we won’t get a chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics,” she was quoted as saying.
After failing to qualify for Rio 2016, Mary is still looking out for that elusive Olympic gold.
“Olympics is one of the biggest games. So, everyone one is dreaming, trying to participate and win a medal at the Olympic Games. It is very important for me also,” Mary was also quoted.
Seeded third and handed a bye into the pre-quarterfinals, Mary will begin her campaign on October 8 next.
Ahead of the World Championships, a controversy broke out regarding Mary’s selection for the World Championships after her competitor in the 51 kg category, Nikhat Zareen, was refused a trial bout.
Zareen, in a letter to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), alleged that she was stopped from competing despite having a scheduled trial bout.
According to Mary, it was the federation and the Sports Ministry who decided to exempt her from the trials, a decision she believes was taken keeping in mind both her glorious past records and her current form.
Mary had defeated Zareen in the semifinal of the India Open in Guwahati earlier this year.
Recently, in an annual survey conducted by YouGov, the Indian boxing legend Mary Kom topped the ‘most admired women’ list in India. She beat the likes of Kiren Bedi, Lata Mangeshkar, Sushma Swaraj and Deepika Padukone.