New Delhi: Rose Ceire Smith means it when she says she is made of stronger stuff. A boxer is supposed to be in any case, more so when she is representing her national team in a World Championship.
But what bookends the Irish's assertion, more than the uppercuts, the hooks and the jabs in the ring, is the manner in which she recalled a freak dental mishap, which ended in a surgery to remove an instrument that found its way into her gut.
"The incident happened five years back and it had affected my boxing then, but it is over now and I have moved on. I am happy about that," a calm and composed Smith said after winning her 51kg first round bout against Gabriela Dimitrova of Bulgaria.
In October 2013, Smith had ended up swallowing a sharp dental instrument during a root canal treatment due to the negligence of the doctor. She sued the dentist and the Health Service executive.
The 25-year-old claimed she was told it would pass through her system but instead it lodged near her hip only centimetres from her femoral artery. The instrument was eventually removed in September 2014 through surgery.
Smith, an elite boxer of Ireland, recovered from that surgery but it hampered her preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics as she failed to qualify. A settlement was reached in the case early this year and Smith, the national champion of Ireland in her weight category, was happy that the controversy was over.
Smith said she had felt abdominal pain while competing during 2014 and the negligence of the dentist caused harm to her career.
"I am from Cavan (in Ireland), made of stronger stuff. It has no impact on me now and I am national champion of Ireland. I have completed my university study also in sports science from Dublin University. I got my degree just last week," she said.
Smith began boxing when she was 17 and became one of the first female boxers in the High-Performance Unit of Ireland as a teenager. "The studies over, I will be a full-time boxer, I am going to train full time and hope to have some wonderful achievements," she said.
Talking about the bout, she said, "It was a good fight, tactical fight, between boxers of almost similar styles and I am happy to start on a winning note. The atmosphere here is very good. I am enjoying in New Delhi. I reached here a few days earlier to acclimatise to the conditions. In the few days remaining here, I hope to be successful."
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Updated Date: Nov 17, 2018 18:28:50 IST