Balancing motherhood and boxing tough act: Mary Kom

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 02, 2010 11:03 hrs

NEW DELHI: M C Mary Kom has had little time to celebrate the fifth gold medal she won at the Asian Boxing Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The reason being, she has been busy getting her child treated at a city hospital after he suddenly fell ill while she was competing in the event last week.

For 'Magnificent Mary', as she has been dubbed by the International Boxing Association (AIBA), it's part of the tough balancing act that comes with being a mother and a four-time world champion boxer.

"It has been very hectic since my return. I got the news of one of my twins not being well during the Championship itself. I was very worried but he is fine now," the 27-year-old Manipuri said.

Mary Kom returned to the country late Monday night and was at a hospital yesterday to get some tests done on her son, who developed a strain in his face.

"It's difficult to manage motherhood and a career which involves so much travelling. I find it hard to leave my kids behind when I go for international tournaments or for national camps," the pin weight (46kg) boxer said.

"My husband takes care of the family and gives me the strength to keep going. He just tells me to forget about everything, whether it's the problems in Manipur which directly affect my family or the kids when I am competing," she added.

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A Khel Ratna awardee, Mary Kom has clinched virtually every international medal which is there to be won except for the Olympics where women's boxing would make its debut in 2012.

As age catches up with her, the key to a medal at London Olympics would be fitness and the largely injury-free boxer said she follows a gruelling training schedule to keep herself in shape.

"I train very hard. Besides, god has been kind to me. My family keeps me motivated and the expectations of the people also drive me. Everytime I compete, I know people expect me to win and that motivates me," she said.

She is currently working on adding more power to her punches as in the increasingly competitive women's boxing, judges no longer award points on a soft touch.

"The punch has to be hard because the judges give points only when there is a loud thud or the impact is visible on your opponent," she explained.

The Indian Boxing Federation is looking for a foreign coach and Mary Kom said it would be good to have a new brain in the team who can introduce new ideas.

"Sometimes a new coach can add a new dimension to your game, bring in a new training routine and that helps a lot," she said.

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