CWG rewind: the Supernova called Mohammad Ali Qamar
Eight years after he became the first Indian boxer to win a gold at the Commonwealth Games, Mohammad Ali Qamar does not even have the video recording of his bout to relive the memories of the "surprise" that he delivered not just to the nation but also to himself.india Updated: Jul 13, 2010 12:55 IST
Eight years after he became the first Indian boxer to win a gold at the Commonwealth Games, Mohammad Ali Qamar does not even have the video recording of his bout to relive the memories of the "surprise" that he delivered not just to the nation but also to himself.
But the memories are still so fresh in his mind that the 30-year-old gets goosebumps whenever he rewinds those moments from the 2002 Manchester Games.
"I was surprised at what I had achieved, even after eight years, I can't believe it actually happened. I get goosebumps when I think of it. It was out of the blue, a fairytale because when I left for the Games, I did not even have a medal on my mind, let alone getting the top one," the former light fly weight boxer told the news agency in an interview.
"I don't have the recording of my final bout. Wish I could get it from somewhere. I have tried very hard to get it but no success. I wonder if somebody can help me, that recording would mean a world to me," he said.
The diminutive Kolkata citizen, now on the national selection panel of the Indian Boxing Federation, was a bundle of nerves all through the Manchester Games.
"Before the semifinal, I saw the recording of my opponent's previous bout. This guy had beaten an Australian boxer, who was literally scurrying for cover in the ring. I thought, if he can thrash an Australian like that, what chance do I have?" he recalled.
That opponent was Nigeria's Taoreed Ajagbe and Qamar said he was shocked when he took him on in the semis.
"He was not his usual self. I waited for him to attack but he just kept a distance. Then I thought, I should attack and it worked. I was baffled but glad that I won in the end," he said.
"Later, this guy came to me and said that he had seen the recording of my quarterfinal bout and was intimidated because I had out-classed my opponent. So, in a way, we were both scared of each other when we took the ring," he laughed.
The final was a tougher affair as he took on local favourite Darren Langley in front of a partisan crowd.
"It was electric. Going into the final round of that bout, I was trailing by four points but I pulled it off and it was just surreal after that. I was amazed, shocked, I still don't have the words to describe," he said.
If the rise was swift, the fall was no less quick for the man who took to boxing by "default".