As six-time world champion MC Mary Kom prepares for the upcoming Olympic Games, she rues the lack of sparring partners and quality competitions due to the pandemic.
"There are not many international competitions. Therefore, I decided to attend the Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai. I competed in the Box Tournament in Spain two months ago and since then I have been training at home in India," the 38 years old Indian boxer told AIBA, the world governing body of the sport.
Mary Kom has qualified in the 51 kg category. The second wave of coronavirus has upset her preparation for the Olympics, she points out.
"Many of my sparring partners have tested positive. If you win, you don't have to overestimate the success; just continue your hard work. I am not overconfident, and am looking forward to the final against the well-known Kazakh boxer [Nazym Kyzaibay at the Asian Championships]," said Mary Kom.
Mary Kom has won five editions of the Asian Boxing Championships and is looking ahead to winning another title.
The veteran boxer had a tough semi-final contest against Mongolia's Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg, but won the tough bout 4-1 split decision. Last month, the Boxing Federation of India had to close the national women's boxing camp in New Delhi following surges in virus cases.
The camp was relocated to the Army Sports Institute Pune and resumed on May 6. Mary Kom was the first to report, but her personal coach Chhote Lal Yadav, couldn't join the camp as he tested positive for Covid-19. The boxing coach had to undergo a 15-day quarantine in New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
"The training was disrupted as the boxers had to spend a week in quarantine before stepping out for training as per Covid-19 protocols of the Army. So we just got one good week to train for Asian meet," said a national coach of the Indian team.