Fear of the coronavirus has given way to a fierce desire to compete in the minds of Indian star boxer MC Mary Com as he prepares for his first tournament of the year next week after recovering from a loss of muscle mass caused by a recent attack of dengue.
The 37-year-old six-time world champion trained mostly at home in 2020 and joined the Bengaluru national camp for two weeks last month after recovering from dengue.
Next week at the Boxam International Tournament in Spain, she will enter the ring for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics at the Asian Qualifiers in Jordan last year.
“I was scared (of traveling) and I will still be very cautious and worried, but then how long can you keep being afraid? The cycle has to stop at some point,” she said in an interview with PTI as she looked forward to the Olympics. year.
“One just has to be sensible to avoid the virus and I try to be like that by wearing masks, maintaining personal hygiene as always. But to be afraid of that, as I’ve been for a long time, maybe it shouldn’t happen , “she said, citing her reluctance to travel abroad to study amid the pandemic.
The tournament, which she will see next, along with eight other Indian boxers linked to the Olympics, will be held in Castellon from March 1st to 7th. The Indian team is expected to leave over the weekend.
“My body is feeling well. Like everyone, I had a rough 2020. The dengue (in December) caused chaos. I lost a lot of muscle because of it and my weight increased dramatically. I was about 57-59 until last month,” she revealed.
“But all it took was 15 days of regulated training (at the Bengaluru National Camp) and now I’m back to my usual 51-52 weight, the muscles are also in shape. I think I’m good to go, rest you can ask my coaches, who knows who, I could brag, “she said, bursting into laughter.
Training at the Inspire Sports Institute in Bengaluru, with which the Indian Boxing Federation has ties, now includes sparring, an essential aspect that was banned due to the strict COVID-19 protocol earlier.
“It was a huge relief. It’s done in groups and everyone is tested, so the risk is basically taken,” said the mother of four from Manipuri.
She may no longer fear the virus that left the world in disarray last year, but a recent decision by the International Olympic Committee to cancel world boxing qualifiers because of the challenges posed by the pandemic has highlighted ongoing concerns.
Mary Com, who is an Athlete Ambassador of the IOC Working Group, which deals with the qualifying process of boxing and the main event for the Games, said that this is a decision based on practical issues, despite the many disappointments it is bound to cause.
“We all want things to return to normal, but at the same time there are challenges and this decision is a result of that. Even if I was against it, it would not matter.
“All I can say is that those who qualified when the races were, were lucky.”
Speaking about the July-August Games, Mary Com said she knew her expectations and was also ready for the challenge, although she would face much younger competition.
“You know, when I joined the camp in Bengaluru, I was still the fastest of them all. So, whatever happens to everyone who says I’m faster than me, better than me.
“I know it will not be easy in Tokyo and it has never been easy for me. And what’s new there? Again, I would say what I always say when asked about expectations. “It’s not in my hands,” she said.
“I’m in a happy space in my life. I intend to keep it that way.”
And what about after Tokyo?
“Let’s focus on Tokyo first. Once that happens, we’ll talk about what happens next,” she signed.