‘Why can’t I come back?’: Mary Kom refutes pension claims, says ‘I’m still hungry’

New Delhi: Legendary veteran boxer Mary Kom, who turns 40 next month, has put an end to all speculation about her retirement. The Olympic medalist claimed she has no plans to retire and still wants to compete in the ring because she is hungry to play for the nation, ANI reported. Mary Kom suffered a knee injury in the opening minutes of her 48kg fight at the Commonwealth Games selection tests in June. She then underwent reconstructive surgery in Mumbai. Due to injury, she missed the Commonwealth Games where she became the first Indian female boxer to win a gold medal in 2018.

The last time Mary Kom was seen in the boxing ring competing worldwide was at the Tokyo Olympics last year, where she lost to Colombian Ingrit Valencia in the pre-quarter final by a 3:2 split decision.

“Why can’t I come back? I’m Mary Kom,” said the Indian boxer, who is the first Indian female boxer to win a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, as quoted on the Olympic Games website during a press conference on Friday.

Mary Kom won gold medals at World Championships in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2018 and won silver in 2001 and bronze in 2019. She is the only female boxer in boxing history to have won six world titles.

“I’m still hungry. I want to participate in one big tournament before I retire. And I don’t mean an invite event, but one real competition before I go,” she said.

Mary Kom will turn 40 next month, meaning she will not be eligible to compete in either the Paris Olympics or the Asian Games in 2019, as the maximum age of entry for both competitions in 2013 was 40.

“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 three-stage surgery, but I’m not done yet,” Mary Kom noted.

Mary Kom has been advised to rest for six months after her surgery, but she’s eager to return to the ring sooner or later.

“I took it as a challenge. I want to be fully fit again in less than six months. Recovery and rehabilitation are things that I have under control,” she said.

“About three to four months ago, I could only bend 10 percent of my knee. It will slowly be 100 percent. Gradually, mobility and strength will return,” Mary Kom informed.

(with ANI inputs)

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ABP News Bureau

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