London Olympics bronze medallist M.C. Mary Kom said that her only aim right now is to ensure that she wins an Olympic medal of a different colour in Tokyo next year. Mary became the first female boxer from India to win an Olympic medal when she won a bronze at London 2012.
She qualified for the Tokyo Olympics at the Asian qualifiers in Amman, Jordan earlier in the year. Eventually, however, the Olympics itself was postponed to July 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"There are always a lot of expectations whenever I am in the ring and that stays in my mind," Mary says on Sony Ten's 'The Medal of Glory' which airs on the network's Facebook page on Wednesday.
"I do spend sleepless nights sometimes thinking about how to make myself better, how to work on my weaknesses and so on.
"It is because of the prayers that come my way that I have been so successful. I am still working on my strength, stamina, speed and endurance. Right now my main dream is to change the colour of the Olympic medal this time."
The six-time World Champion said that she had to work with male boxers in India in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics so as to get used to the 51kg category. Mary competed in 48kg before the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) scrapped the weight class from the Olympics.
She then shifted to 51kg and won bronze at the 2010 Asian Games in the weight category. Eventually, she would win an Olympic bronze at the 2012 Olympics in that weight class.
"At the time I did not have much experience in the 51kg category. It had just been one year or so since I had changed my weight category before which I used to compete in 48kg. I won all my World Championship titles in the 48kg category before that," she said.
"In 51kg I was facing taller boxers and they had better reach. There were not many in India with this kind of height and reach for me to get used to.
"So for training in the 51kg category at the 2012 Olympics, I trained with boys who were taller and heavier than me after my qualification was confirmed.
"I was training for the Olympics after all so I didn't mind getting hit. I got to learn a lot from it and so did those boxers I trained with."