'Magnificent' Mary brushes aside retirement rumours
New Delhi: Keeping her doubters at bay after winning her maiden CWG gold medal with aplomb, the 35-year-old Mary Kom said she is not leaving the boxing ring anytime soon.
"I have never said anything about retiring. It was just rumour. It took me by surprise too when I heard about the retirement rumours," she said.
After disappointment of missing out on a spot in Rio Olympics 2016, the pugilist further revealed that a yellow metal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 is her ultimate dream.
"Olympic gold medal is what I am dreaming of. I completed my dream of winning a Commonwealth gold medal. Now it's time to fullfil other remaining dreams too and Olympic medal is at the top of that list," she said.
However, being 37 by the time of Tokyo Olympics, some doubt if she still has it in her to go the distance.
Mary Kom brushed off the age factor: "Who said that (about my age)? Come to the stage and I will show you how old I am."
On a more serious note she further added: "People need to stop talking about my age. I need to take it off my head because I will know when my body will ask me to stop."
Getting back to her "historic" CWG gold, Mary Kom felt happy that she succeeded in proving her doubters wrong.
"I was happy and relieved at the same time to win my first commonwealth medal, it was a historic moment for me. A lot of negative things were said about me prior to the competition. People doubted my fitness and strength. I am happy to prove them all wrong," she said at the sidelines of the Boxing Federation of India's felicitation of Indian Boxers for their performance in Gold Coast.
Before departing to Australia, fellow pugilist Akhil Kumar made scathing attack on the BFI for hiring foreign coaches over Indian coaches. Mary Kom, however, felt coaches such as Raffaele Bergamasco (Women's coach) and Santiago Nieva ( men's coach) are playing a key role in taking Indian boxing forward.
"Rafaelle is a very experienced coach. He brings a lot of knowledge that he has garnered over the years on the table for the boxers and also for Indian coaches in our team like Chhott Lal (Yadav). I am not saying Indian coaches are not better but they still have few things to learn from the foreign coaches. Even Santiago helps us improve," she said.