‘Why can’t I come back? I’m Mary Kom’

When MC Mary Kom twisted her left knee during the Commonwealth Games (CWG) trials on a balmy June afternoon, many feared her storied career would end on a surgeon’s table. But four months later, the decorated boxer stood radiant and hopeful, urging young and old alike to attend the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon on Oct. 16 in the capital.

‘Why can’t I come back? I’m Mary Kom,” she roared.

The six-time world champion turns 40 in November, meaning both the Paris Olympics and next year’s Asian Games are out of the question for the London Games bronze medalist. The maximum age to participate in the two quadrennial events was set at 40 in 2013.

“I know there is an age limit, but I still want to participate. People want to see me in the ring. I’ve had a complex surgery in three stages, but I’m not done yet.”

For now, Mary moves in braces. She has started her rehabilitation and some strength training, but her knee’s mobility is still limited.

“There is daily progress. About 3-4 months ago I could only bend 10 percent of my knee. I will slowly be 100 percent. Gradually, the mobility and strength will return,” Mary said.

Doctors have ruled her out for at least six months after surgery, but the top boxer is eager to meet the deadline. “I took it as a challenge. I want to be fully fit again in less than six months. Nothing is impossible if you put your heart to it. Recovery and rehabilitation are things I have control over,” she continued.

The country’s only female boxer to win an Asian gold wants to peak. “I’m still hungry. I want to participate in one big tournament before I retire. And I don’t mean an invite event; just one real competition before I go.”

Now that time is running out, it will be interesting to see if her wish does indeed come true.

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