A new chapter will be added to women's boxing when the event is showcased at the London Olympics next year. For the first time, the likes of five-time world champion, MC Mary Kom, will enter the Olympic arena, and with high hopes.
"For the last few years, Indian women boxers have been doing well at the world stage and now that the event has made it to the Olympics, we have more responsibility on our shoulders --- to carry forward our past performance to the quadrennial Games," said chief national coach, Anup Kumar. "But first, we have to qualify for the Games and for that, we have only one tournament --- the World Championships in May. If we bag quota places in all three weight categories, it won't be surprising if the girls too contribute to the medals tally," he added.
The quota for women boxers at the Olympics has been restricted to just 12 each in the three weight categories.
Thanks to Mary Kom's exploits, she is considered a medal prospect. She has won all her world titles in the 48kg category, but at the Olympics, she will compete in the 51kg division, as there are only three weight categories --- (51, 60, 75) in the women's section. "I am settled in 51kg and the coaches are putting in their best to prepare me for the mega event," said Mary Kom, who is training at NIS, Patiala.
"The London Games will be a moment of pride for every Indian woman boxer. We are eagerly waiting for that day to showcase our talent. If all goes well, every Indian will be proud on us," she added.
Ever since, women's boxing was included in the Olympics, the competition has increased manifold, and it was visible at last year's Asian Games. Indian women could manage just two bronze out of the three gold at stake. "No doubt, the competition in has increased over the last year, but our performance at the Asian Games was satisfactory. We lost two semifinal bouts to Chinese opponents, who were world champions," said Anup.
"The best part about our preparation is that we have three or four girls, who are at par with each other in all the three weight categories. So, nobody can take her place for granted," he added.