Magnificent Mary wins boxing gold for India at Asian Games

Wed Oct 1, 2014 6:23am EDT
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By Julian Linden

INCHEON South Korea (Reuters) - M.C. Mary Kom gave India's battered boxing team something to celebrate when she won the women's flyweight gold medal at the Asian Games on Wednesday.

Kom came from behind to beat Kazakhstan's Zhaina Shekerbekova on a split decision in the 51-kilogram division.

Her win provided India with its first gold medal in the ring at Incheon after her team mate Sarita Devi lost a disputed decision in the lightweight division the previous day.

Devi lodged a protest after the judges ruled that she had lost her semi-final to South Korea's Park Ji-na on Tuesday. At Wednesday's medal presentation, Devi broke down in tears and refused to wear the bronze medal she was presented with.

"I was disappointed with the judges' decision on Sarita," Kom said. "Unfortunately, it happens sometimes, since I started boxing.

"We were really upset, but next time, we’ll do much better. I don’t think Sarita failed the trial.

"That motivated me to perform better and I was more challenged. I tried hard to prove who I am."

Kom, a five-time world champion and Olympic bronze medalist, had to dig deep to beat Shekerbekova, who held her own in the opening round but was unable to hold off the Indian after that.   Continued...

India's gold medallist Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte reacts during the medal ceremony for the women's fly (48-51kg) boxing competition at the Seonhak Gymnasium during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon October 1, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon