MC Mary Kom (51kg) scaled new heights at the games of the XXX Olympiad in London by becoming the first Indian woman boxer to win an Olympic medal. The 29 year old, mother of two, bagged a bronze medal in the fly weight division of the sport, which made its Olympic debut this year. A true legend, the 5 times World Champion’s achievement is a historic milestone, one that is bound to inspire future generations of athletes. In the men’s discipline at the mega event, although medals eluded the team, Indian boxers put up a spirited performance against top class opposition. While some lost out with very narrow margins, few were unlucky not to get close decisions in their favour. Seven Indian boxers – L Devendro Singh (49kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Vijender Singh (75kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) -- qualified for the Games but could not translate performances into rewards. Although the Indian Boxing Contingent bagged only one medal, experts believe the performance of the Indian pugilists at the London games was up to their potential and the setback has only spurred them on to do better.
Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd. (The official team and kit sponsors for the Indian Boxing Team), in keeping with the continuing legacy of its support for development of the sport of boxing in India, on Thursday (16 Aug 2012) along with the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation organized an event to felicitate Olympic Bronze medallist MC Mary Kom in addition to appreciating the efforts of the entire boxing contingent. IABF President Shri Abhay Singh Chautala congratulated Mary Kom on her stupendous achievement and said that it has reinforced her status as an iconic figure in the sport of women’s boxing across the world. He also applauded the efforts of the men’s team saying that their performance is not short of appreciation and was there for everyone to see. He further added, “With likes of Mary Kom and Vijender Singh still going strong and so much of new talent coming up in the sport, the future of Indian boxing is bright and more results will be seen in the years to follow”.
Speaking at the event with eyes focused on the future, Mr. Sandeep Jajodia, Chairman & Managing Director, Monnet Ispat & Energy Limited said, “The vigor and determination that our boxers displayed in their bouts makes me strongly believe that the 2016 Olympics will be a very promising for the Indian Boxing Contingent and would see a higher medal tally. We at Monnet stand by our commitment to the sport and are hugely excited with what we saw at London. We believe that the real story will be told in 2016.” Mr. Jajodia had earlier promised cash rewards of Rs 51 Lacs for a gold medal winning effort and Rs. 25 Lacs and Rs. 11 Lacs for silver and bronze respectively. Keeping up with the promise, he presented a cheque of Rs. 11 Lacs to Mary Kom. Going a step further he also gave the rest of the Olympic Boxing Contingent a cheque of Rs. 10 Lac for their truly brave and awe inspiring efforts despite not having won a medal.
Kom, the reigning Asian Champion, was overwhelmed with the adulation and said she was grateful for all the support received during her Olympic campaign. She also stated, “I tried hard to get the gold, but had to settle for a bronze. However I hope to change the colour to a silver or gold in the next Olympics at Rio.”
Also present at the ceremony, Brig PK Muralidharan Raja, Secretary General, IABF pointed out, that boxing aficionados in India will have a lot to look forward to with the international governing body for boxing expanding the realms of the sport. He said, “AIBA is introducing three styles of boxing. – Olympic amateur boxing, WSB (World Series Boxing) which is semi-professional league and its professional avatar the APB (AIBA Professional Boxing). These additional competitive platforms will not just add to the popularity of the sport in the country but will also provide athletes with new career options.”