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Top five moments in Mary Kom's illustrious career

Published at :February 9, 2024 at 4:08 PM
Modified at :February 9, 2024 at 8:01 PM
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(Courtesy : PTI)

Ankhi Dutta


Mary Kom became first boxer to win eight medals in the World Championships.

MC Mary Kom’s illustrious career spans Olympic medals, World Championship crowns, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medals, and triumphs in numerous international tournaments. Her achievements include being the sole Indian to secure gold in both the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, and triumphs in numerous international tournaments. Recognizing her immense contributions, she was nominated as a Rajya Sabha member in 2016 and honored with the title Meethoi Leima in 2018, signifying an exceptional lady in Manipuri.

Adding to her accolades, the jewel in her crown is the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, bestowed upon her in 2020. Mary Kom’s legacy in boxing is marked by unparalleled success and numerous accolades, showcasing her enduring impact on the sport.

Top five Moments of Mary Kom’s unprecedented career

Silver at inaugural 2001 Women’s World Boxing Championships

The Women’s World Boxing Championship debuted in 2001 when Mary Kom, a mere 18-year-old, entered the ring in the 48kg category. Despite her inexperience, she flawlessly advanced to the final, where she encountered Turkey’s Hülya Şahin. Although Mary settled for silver, she etched her name in history as the first Indian woman to secure a medal at the World Boxing Championships. Since that breakthrough moment, Mary Kom has consistently won a medal in each of the eight editions of the championship, showcasing her enduring excellence in the sport.

Gold at 2002 World Boxing Championships

Quickly learning from her setback against Hülya Şahin, Mary Kom rebounded triumphantly within a year. In a remarkable turnaround, she defeated North Korea’s Jang Song-ae in the World Championships final, securing her first-ever Worlds gold medal. Mary Kom’s dominance extended in subsequent years, as she clinched gold in the 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2018 editions of the World Championships. Her consistent success on the global stage solidified her status as a boxing legend.

Bronze at London Olympics (2012)

In the historic debut of women’s boxing at the London Games in 2012, Mary Kom faced challenges by jumping weight categories. Despite a tough start, she secured a spot in the quarterfinals with a 19-14 victory against Karolina Michalczuk of Poland. In a tight match against Tunisia’s Maroua Rahali, Mary Kom’s experience prevailed, earning her a place in the semifinals and ensuring an Olympic medal. However, her journey was halted in the semifinals by local boxer Nicola Adams, resulting in Mary Kom settling for a bronze medal.

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Gold at Asian Games, Incheon (2014)

In a historic achievement at the 2014 Asian Games, Mary Kom became the first Indian woman boxer to secure gold in the flyweight (51kg) category. Facing a formidable opponent in Kazakhstan’s Zhaina Shekerbekova, Mary Kom initially adopted a defensive strategy, allowing Zhaina to attack to counter effectively. However, when the tactic didn’t yield the desired results and Zhaina back-pedalled, Mary Kom shifted gears in the final minute. With a flawless display of hooks and uppercuts in the second and third rounds, she overcame the deficit, clinching a 2-0 victory and earning her well-deserved gold at the Asian Games. Mary Kom had won a bronze at the 2010 Asian Games.

Sixth World Championship (2018)

On November 24, 2018, Mary Kom made history at the KD Jadhav Hall in New Delhi. As the crowd chanted her name, she faced 22-year-old Ukrainian Hanna Okhota in a thrilling bout. Both boxers used counter-punches instead of aggression.

In the final 45 seconds, Mary Kom unleashed a five-punch combination that sealed the round. Her agile footwork gave her an edge over her younger opponent. She won 5-0 and became the first female boxer to win six world championships.

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