MC Mary Kom pulled no punches as the celebrated Indian boxer on Monday announced her intention to stretch her career by another "three-four" years and while the 2018 Asian and Commonwealth Games remain her "main focus", Tokyo Olympics, she said, is also not out of the radar yet.
The London Olympics medallist and five-time world champion recently decided to go back to the light flyweight (48kg division) amid speculation that it is among the two categories that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) is pushing for inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 33-year, a mother of three, is back in the ring with renewed hopes.
"I am attending the national camp at IG Stadium. I just want to continue for another three-four years. If 48kg is included in 2020 Olympic Games, I will give it a shot and try win a gold medal for my country," Mary Kom said.
She added, "I have started training and though I could not participate in the boxing nationals due to the Parliament session, I want to represent India in international competitions. 2018 Asian Games, Commonwealth Games are main my focus and I will also look to compete in other official international competitions."
Aiming to groom potential boxers for future Olympics with world-class coaching and infrastructure facilities, the effervescent pugilist's Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation (MKRBF) Monday entered into an agreement with Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB).
"Women boxing is becoming more popular. I just want to give back to my sport and my nation. To produce more champions from my academy, that is my dream. I have gyms and outdoor rings to train the underprivileged youngsters.
"People might think how would I be able to devote time being a MP, but this has been a long-time dream. Most of the boxers suffer from poverty, so if I can do something for them that will be a great achievement for me, besides my medals."
The PSPB agreement entails extending support towards refurbishment of the residential block and in addition granting Rs 75 lakhs in a five-year period for facilitating the sportspersons at the academy.
Besides, State bank of India and Sports Authority of India have also come forward to assist the academy.
"SAI is supporting us under its extension scheme through which each trainee boxer gets Rs 600 per month, one kit. We are getting financial assistance through NDSF (National Sports Development Fund). SBI has given Rs 2 crore for building a hostel."
Mary Kom is happy that the boxers have a national federation in place after many years.
She said, "It's a very good thing. Boxers gain more exposure through participation in competitions so it's really good that there is a federation now in place."
Mary Kom was accompanied by her husband Onler Karong, who is also the MKRBF's managing director.
After a rather disappointing year, Mary Kom will have something to cheer about as she will be honoured with the AIBA Legend's Award for her stellar career so far during the world body's 70th anniversary celebrations on December 20.
The agreement was executed by S Halder, Member Secretary and K LTejwani, Joint Secretary PSPB with Onler, Co-Founder and Managing Director, MKRBF in the presence of BC Tripathi, President, PSPB and Mary Kom.
Updated Date: Dec 12, 2016 22:23:38 IST