Mary Kom all set for a return to ring

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New Delhi, Sept 2 (UNI) World champion Mary Kom, the pugilist from Manipur, comes back to the boxing ring after a two-year break to add a fourth world title to her bag.

The defending champion in 46kg category is now ready for her fifth world championship in Ningbo in China in November this year.

Talking to newspersons here last evening, she said it was difficult to sit for more than a year and a half and do nothing.

She gave birth to twins a while back and had to keep the boxing gloves away. She said her secret of success was to maintain her body weight.

''I had to take complete rest, doctors had advised me not to box for some time. Then I had to take care of my sons. It was a difficult period but my husband was very cooperative.

At the moment, I am focussing on regaining my fitness and form,'' she said.

She was vigourously going through weight training and sparring sessions with her teammates at the Hissar camp for the past month.

Kom hopes that she will be able to enter the ring with full confidence in the Asian Championship beginning in Guwahati from September 23 this year. The championship will see boxers from 16 Asian nations, including China, South and North Korea, Mongolia and Japan.

Indian boxers will participate in all 13 weight categories.

''This will be a test event for me before the world championship in China,'' she declared.

Talking about the good performance of Indian boxers in the Beijing Olympics, she said, ''We hope in the London Games women's boxing will be included and we can win a few more medals.'' The boxing champion entered the Limca books of records in the last year. The 22-year-old world-boxing champion from Manipur became India's first woman pugilist to get the Arjuna Award in 2004.

She won the silver medal in the World Championship in the US in 2001, her first international exposure that spurred her on to greater heights. Mary Kom won gold in the world championship in Turkey in 2002, in Russia in 2005 and in India in 2006.

She once said, ''I was initially an all-round athlete, and 400m race and javelin were my pet events. When Dingko Singh returned from Bangkok Asian Games with a gold, I thought I should give it a try.'' After winning her first title and best boxer at the first State Level Invitation Women's Boxing championship in Manipur in 2000, Mary Kom went on to win the gold in the seventh East India Women's Boxing Championship held in West Bengal and subsequently to win five Indian National Championship from 2000 to 2005.

UNI BKS RAR RK1735

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