M.C. Mary Kom notched up her fifth gold medal at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships. She prevailed in a fiercely contested summit clash in Vietnam on Wednesday. She faced North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi, the five-time world champion. Kom, the Olympic bronze medallist in the 48kg bout. Kom won with a unanimous 5-0 verdict to add another accolade to her already crowded cabinet. This is Mary Kom’s first international gold medal since the 2014 Asian Games and her first medal in over a year.
Mary Kom did not have it easy
Hyang Mi was the 35-year-old’s most aggressive opponent so far in the tournament. But she was up for the task. She spent the opening three minutes of her previous bouts measuring up her rival. This time, the tactics changed. Both boxers were lunging at each other within seconds of the bell going off. They were evenly matched in speed and precision but Mary Kom’s ringcraft ensured her victory. She utilised some fine footwork to outpace Hyang Mi at crucial junctures.
The boxers made the contest engaging with their fast-paced exchange of punches. Fans were hooked despite the lack of power-hitting on display The North Korean was relentless with her left hooks but the Indian did not allow herself to be rattled and scored on counter-attack with her combination blows.
Meanwhile, world championship silver-medallist Sonia Lathar, settled for a silver medal in her bout. This was her second silver at this event after she went down in a split verdict to China’s Yin Junhua in the final of the 57kg category. India thus signed off with a gold, a silver and five bronze medals at the tournament.
“I am really happy the way this Championship has panned out. I would like to dedicate this victory to all those who have supported me even though the world had written me off”, Mary Kom said after her win. She thanked her coaching staff who worked hard with her over the last few months.