File image of Mary Kom.(RAAJESSH KASHYAP)
File image of Mary Kom.(RAAJESSH KASHYAP)

Won’t spar at camp unless there is a solution: Mary Kom

Sparring is an essential part of training for boxers and Mary Kom said boxers would not be comfortable in present circumstances. She also feels that in contact sport things can normalise only if there is any solution to COVID-19 – be it a vaccine or a cure.
By Avishek Roy | New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 19, 2020 08:08 PM IST

New Delhi: With the government passing guidelines to open stadiums and sports complexes in lockdown 4.0, elite athletes are expected to return to training after nearly two months. Multiple-time world champion and London Olympics bronze medallist MC Mary Kom, however, is apprehensive about joining the national camp and wants to wait for some more time before taking a call.

Sparring is an essential part of training for boxers and Mary Kom said boxers would not be comfortable in present circumstances. She also feels that in contact sport things can normalise only if there is any solution to COVID-19 – be it a vaccine or a cure.

“Everyone is fighting against the virus and there is no solution right now. I am still scared whether I will join or not (national camp). Even if I join, since our game is a contact sport, until and unless there is a solution, I think I have to skip some training part like sparring, fighting, doing skill training with partner,” Mary Kom said.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has redrawn its training protocol as per which sparring and high intensity training will not take place immediately. Mary Kom said she would discuss with coaches and see for herself what precautions are being taken.

“The government has opened the stadiums and we will be called for national camp. They will have to take extra precaution to protect the athletes. In any contact sport you cannot take the risk. It can be dangerous. You have to be just careful, you cannot blame anyone. If anything happens who will be responsible?

“I will go to the national camp and see the situation. I will discuss with coaches how they are going to give the training and accordingly I will decide. But sparring won’t be possible and I will request the coaches not to allow it.”

“I can do other fitness activities but I will avoid some because it is risky. I don’t want to put my life to risk. Life is more important than anything else,” she said.

The 37-year-old has qualified for Tokyo Olympics in the 51kg category after winning bronze at the Asian qualifiers in March.

Since the Olympics has been postponed till next year, Mary Kom said there is still enough time to prepare. She has been following her own fitness regime at home during the lockdown period. “I always maintain my fitness whether I am at home or at camp. I know training in national camp is completely different. You can never compare that with the fitness routine at home. In camps the fitness level goes up so much because there will be proper training programme and it will be monitored. But there is still time for the Olympics. I can begin training after some time.”

Mary Kom feels unless there is a vaccine for COVID 19, contact sports will never be the same. “You have to always live in fear and you won’t be able to do anything properly.”

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