The 37-year-old boxer has already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
With stadiums and sports complexes ready to open in lockdown 4.0, top-level athletes will be expected back at training after a two-month layoff. However, boxing ace Mary Kom still hasn’t decided about joining the national camp due to the coronavirus situation and various risks it entails.
The risks are even higher in a contact sport like boxing and hence her apprehensions are completely valid. If even she does join the camp, she has stated that she might avoid sparring or any such activity that requires contact until a solution is found.
“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 told the Hindustan Times.
As per the Boxing Federation of India, sparring and high-intensity training wouldn’t be held initially. Accordingly, the gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games said that she hopes the authorities will take all the correct measures required for the safety and the well-being of the athletes that will attend the training camp.
She said, “The government has opened the stadiums and we will be called for the 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.”
Mary Kom also remarked that in a contact sport like boxing there will always remain doubts until they find a vaccine, which will make it difficult for the athletes to carry on as usual. She said, “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. You have to always live in fear and you won’t be able to do anything properly.”
The London Olympics bronze medalist booked her ticket for the upcoming Olympic Games after clinching a bronze medal at the Asian Qualifiers. With the tournament postponed owing to the outbreak of COVID-19, the pugilist has revealed that she always strives to remain fit, regardless of the situation or location of her practices, which has also been the case during the lockdown.
“I always maintain my fitness whether I am at home or at camp. I know training in the 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 a proper training programme and it will be monitored. But there is still time for the Olympics. I can begin training after some time,” concluded Mary Kom.
She has had a glorious boxing career, amassing countless accolades, including a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games and eight medals at the AIBA World Boxing Championships. However, the elusive gold at the Olympics has still evaded her grasp and she will be hoping to finally capture it next year.