Mary Kom wins gold at Asian Championships, beats five-time world champ

RSTV Bureau
Ho Chi Minh City: Pugilist MC Mary Kom at the award ceremony after winning the fifth Asian Boxing Championship title in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on Wednesday. PTI Photo

Ho Chi Minh City: Pugilist MC Mary Kom at the award ceremony after winning the fifth Asian Boxing Championship title in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on Wednesday. PTI Photo

(48kg) won her fifth gold medal at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships, winning a fiercely-contested summit clash in Vietnam on Wednesday.

Mary Kom, who was up against North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi, the five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist, won in a unanimous 5-0 verdict to add this new accolade.

This is Mary Kom’s first international gold medal since the 2014 Asian Games and her first medal in over a year.

Unlike her previous bouts, in which the opening three minutes were invariably spent measuring up the rival, both the boxers were lunging at each other within seconds of the bell going off.

“I am really happy the way this Championship has panned out. I would like to dedicate this victory to all those who have supported me even though the world had written me off. I would like to thank my coaching staff who worked hard with me over the last few months,” Mary Kom said after the win.

Matched quite evenly in speed and precision, Mary Kom scored for her ringcraft, which included some fine footwork to outpace Hyang Mi at crucial junctures. There was hardly any power-hitting on display but the contest was made engaging by the boxers’ fast-paced exchange of punches. The North Korean was relentless with her left hooks but the Manipuri did not allow herself to be rattled and scored on counter-attack with her combination blows.

Ho Chi Minh City: Pugilist MC Mary Kom after beating Hyang Mi Kim of Korea in the 48-kg category to win her fifth Asian Boxing Championship gold medal, in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on Wednesday. PTI Photo

Ho Chi Minh City: Pugilist MC Mary Kom after beating Hyang Mi Kim of Korea in the 48-kg category to win her fifth Asian Boxing Championship gold medal, in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on Wednesday. PTI Photo

With another gold, Mary Kom kept her excellent record at this event intact, having made the final in all of her six appearances with only one ending in a silver. Mary Kom’s previous gold medals at this meet had come in 2003, 2005, 2010 and 2012.

Mary Kom received congratulatory messages from across the country.

Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished her on twitter.

(With inputs from agencies)