Mary Kom ensures best medal haul for India
London, Aug 7: India's five-time world women's boxing champion MC Mary Kom admitted she faced an uphill task to win the gold medal despite securing bronze in the London Olympic flyweight competition.
The 29-year-old Manipuri, a mother of twins, thrashed her Tunisian rival Maroua Rahali 15-6 in a one sided quarterfinal at the Excel Arena.
With Mary Kom's exploits, India has surpassed its previous best of three medals (one gold and two bronze) at the Beijing Games four years ago.
Pistol shooter Vijay Kumar has bagged a silver, and rifleman Gagan Narang and women's shuttler Saina Nehwal a bronze apiece from the Games so far.
In track and field, male discus thrower Vikas Gowda, considered the country's best bet for a medal from the discipline, qualified for the final by hurling the metallic disc to a distance of 65.20 metres in his second attempt to make the cut. The US-based Indian has a best throw of 66.28m.
Mary Kom is assured of a bronze even if she loses in the semi-final against Nicola Adams of Britain. Both losing semi-finalists are awarded bronze in the competition.
Fighting a calculated bout, the Indian opened up a marginal 2-1 lead in the opening round where she sized up her opponent before going for the kill in the subsequent rounds.
She was ahead 3-2 in the second, before letting loose a flurry of punches to win the third round 6-1 and completed the formalities with a 4-2 scoreline in the fourth and ultimate round.
Mary Kom's success, which made her the third Indian woman after weightlifter Karnam Malleswari at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and Saina in London to ensure a podium finish, triggered celebrations across the nation and especially in her home state Manipur.
Mary Kom herself was jubilant though she has her eyes fixed on the Olympic gold.
"It feels great to win an Olympic medal for the country. But I want to carry on the momentum or a bigger medal," she said.
Asked about her chances in the semis against home favourite Adams, Mary Kom said: "She is a good boxer. I lost to her in the World Championship quarter-final by just two points. Boxing is a very tough sport and winning or losing is a part of the game. But I will give my best." IANS
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 8 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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