Indian ace boxer MC Mary Kom who is one of India’s biggest hopes to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics recently opened up on several things regarding the Summer Games.
The veteran pugilist highlighted how the Tokyo Olympics will be the Games of many firsts. She also feels that the athletes will have to resort to their mental toughness to produce their best performances.
This was the first time in history that the Summer Games were rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan currently is still fighting the virus and will not allow spectators in the stands. Several events building up to the Summer Games have also been cancelled.
“These are unprecedented times and one must be adaptive in nature, keeping the current circumstances in mind,” Mary Kom told the Khaleej Times.
“We must be patient and keep ourselves fit and match-ready. All the athletes have seen the consequences of not being careful. We have been training in bio-bubbles and it has made us mentally strong.
“During the Olympics, our goal is to give our best. It will be an Olympics with a lot of firsts and we have to adapt.”
The Indian boxing contingent who have been starved of proper practice featured in the 2021 Asian Boxing Championships which was held in Dubai. Kom, who is leading the Indian flag into the tournament, ended up losing in the finals and bagging Silver at the Asian Championships.
The six time World Champion lost to Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaibay by a split decision in the Women’s 51kg category in Dubai.
Ahead of her bout, she said, “A good performance here is a massive boost as it’s the last tournament before the Olympics.”
“More than that, it’s crucial to check my progress as well as note the areas where work is needed,” the 38-year-old pointed out.
“Some of the best boxers from Asia who will be at the Olympics are here, so we are up against the best. Due to COVID, competitions have been less and we need to make the most of our opportunities.”
Speaking about the pandemic and her own experiences, Kom highlighted the difficulties. However, she is happy with her progress in the buildup to the Olympics.
“Being confined to our homes and not being able to spar (was tough), but we had to remain fit physically and mentally,” Mary Kom said. “Training in the past few months wasn’t easy.
“But since I joined the national camp in Pune, I am in a much better space. I am glad I could take care of sparring, my stamina and fitness before coming to Dubai. I am really looking forward to the much-needed match practice here.”