London, Aug 7: The spotlight will be on the diminutive M C Mary Kom as she attempts to create history by becoming the first Indian to reach the final of the boxing event of Olympic Games when she takes on Nicola Adams of Great Britain in what promises to be a high-voltage contest on Wednesday.
The five-time world champion Mary has already assured at least a bronze medal for India, which means that the country has recorded its best-ever medal haul in the mega event.
India has already won one silver, two bronze and assured of a bronze, which is better than the one gold and two bronze medals they won in the Beijing Games four years ago.
The only other Indian pugilist who has kept himself in the medal hunt is Devendro Singh who will clash with Paddy Barnes of Ireland in the men’s fly weight (49 kg) category at the ExCel Arena tomorrow.
Interestingly, both Mary and Devendro hail from Manipur and know each other well and it would be a huge fillip to the sport in the strife-torn state if they progress further in the event.
Women’s boxing has been introduced for the first time in the Olympics and Mary, who has always taken part in the 48 kg category where she has excelled, had to increase her body weight to be eligible to take part in the 51 kg category in the Olympic Games.
As she herself disclosed, she has trained with taller and stronger boys in the build up to the Olympics to be able to counter her opponents in the event, marred by several controversies and dubious judgments.
The Indian pugilists have often being in the receiving end of the debatable judgments and some of their appeals have been rejected by the authorities.
Vikas Krishan had the misfortune of seeing his result being overturned in favour of his American opponent Errol Spence after he was given four penalties in a controversial bout. Krishan won the bout but later the American was adjudged the victor much to the dismay of the Indian contingent. Agencies