MC Mary Kom(PTI)
MC Mary Kom(PTI)

Mary Kom joins camp, to train from Monday

Currently quarantined at the institute, Mary Kom got the all-clear on Friday after returning a negative test for Covid-19. She had stayed away from the elite national camp and competitions because of the pandemic.
By Avishek Roy
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 07:27 PM IST

Nearly one year after MC Mary Kom qualified for her second Olympics, she will resume training on Monday at the boxing national camp at Bellary’s Inspire Institute of Sport. This is the longest the six-time world champion has ever stayed away from the ring.

Currently quarantined at the institute, Mary Kom got the all-clear on Friday after returning a negative test for Covid-19. She had stayed away from the elite national camp and competitions because of the pandemic.

“Things are much better now, and the vaccine coming was good news. I had a discussion with my husband and coach and felt it was time to go out there and train. I had to take this step because if I don’t do proper training for another month, I will be late in my preparations for the Tokyo Olympics and won’t be able to achieve my dream,” said Mary Kom.

The London Olympics bronze medallist has qualified in the 51kg category and is a strong medal prospect.

“I was taking all precautions against Covid and I contracted dengue (in November). I had a fever for a week; my body was feeling very weak, I was barely able to speak for 2-3 days. I was sapped of energy and fighting negative thoughts. I also gained 5-6 kg weight. After I recovered, the kids had chickenpox one after another. It was a very tough phase for the family,” said 37-year-old Mary Kom, mother of three sons and a daughter.

Mary Kom said she has been training at home with coach Chhote Lal, a physio and strength and conditioning expert. “I am still recovering and I am 80-90 per cent now. But the rhythm is coming back. I will start slowly, don’t want to push myself immediately otherwise, there will be chances of injury. I will see how the body takes the strain and step up accordingly.”

High Performance coach Santiago Nieva and women’s chief coach Raffelle Bergamasco will be in Bellary. With 52 elite boxers including 22 women, the camp began on December 26 and will run till February 18.

“The coaches are there to take a call on how to go about training and preparation. The good thing is that I have qualified and I have the experience. I would like to take part in at least 2-3 competitions before the Olympics and get into that rhythm of fighting. You can’t go to the Olympics without taking part in any competition. It is about one bout and you will be knocked out. It has been close to a year since I competed,” said Mary Kom.

Mary Kom said it is for the government to decide on whether Tokyo-bound athletes should get the Covid-19 vaccine on priority basis. “The government has its priority. Old people, health care workers are the priority right now. If we get the vaccine, it is fine but that's the government’s call.”

The pandemic has taught her to not take anything granted, she said. “You see, it has been a difficult time for everyone. The kids are not able to go to school, learning online. Sometimes I feel for them, what they are missing out, and worried whether they are being left behind in studies. But things are progressing now and hope they will be back to school.”

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