India's female boxer aims for medal in London
NEW DELHI (AP)
Five-time world champion M.C. Mary Kom hopes to win an Olympic medal for India when women's boxing is introduced at the London Games this summer.
The 29-year-old Kom said she's in her best form and has a good chance of winning a medal at the 2012 Olympics. She needs to qualify for the London Games at the World Championship this month in Qinhuangdao, China.
Kom has competed in the 101-pound and 105-pound events. If she qualifies, Kow will move up to the 112-pound category, one of three women's weight classes.
''I'm at my best right now and the Olympics are my biggest dream,'' Kom said Tuesday before leaving for China. ''If I win a medal there, it will set me free as far as my future is concerned. I might continue or might decide to go (retire).''
Despite her resolve, Kom said she doesn't want to raise her nation's expectations at the Olympics, which run from July 27-Aug. 12.
''It is important for me to win an Olympic medal, but it is not everything,'' Kom said. ''I've nothing left to prove and don't want to take too much pressure on myself.
''I have to take each of my opponents very seriously, concentrate hard and remain confident.''
Her teammates, L. Sarita Devi (132 pounds) and Pooja Rani (165 pounds) will attend qualifying in China.
Although only two Indian female boxers will compete in London, coach Anoop Kumar said all three women have a chance.
''These girls are at par with others, and I am sure they will do well,'' Kumar said.
India's best chance for an Olympic medal at the London games is boxing. Seven male boxers have already qualified for the Olympic competition. India had won its first Olympic medal in boxing at the Beijing Games when Vijender Singh won a bronze in the 165-pound category.