India’s boxing star Mary Kom has added another feather in her cap today as she was named one of the eight ambassadors for the upcoming World Championships by the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
An elated Mary Kom (51kg), who has five World Championship gold medals to her credit, said she feels honoured by the AIBA’s gesture.
“It’s a great honour for me as an Indian. This title means that I will be representing international boxing and this is an honour which is not given to everybody,” Mary Kom, a bronze-medallist of the 2012 London Olympics, told PTI.
Mary Kom is aiming to secure her second successive Olympic appearance through the world event which is scheduled from May 19 to 27 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Manipuri is a tournament legend and AIBA had dubbed her ‘Magnificent Mary’ for her unprecedented gold medal count in it.
The 33-year-old, who missed out on an Olympic berth in last month’s Asian Qualifiers, is currently training for the world event trials slated here on April 18 and 19.
“There is always pressure but I know how to handle it because this is what I have been doing for the last many years. Whether I qualify or not, what matters is that I am giving it my best shot,” she said.
The AIBA-appointed ambassadors for the World Championship also include Nicola Adams of Great Britain, Team USA’s light flyweight Marlen Esparza, Adriana Arauja from host country of this year’s Olympic Games Brazil, Bulgaria’s Stanimira Petrova and Morocco’s Khadija Mardi.
The female officials chosen to be ambassadors are Algerian Kheira Siki Yakoub and Canada’s Jennifer Huggins.
Astana will host more than 300 of the world’s top female boxers. With 10 gold medals at stake, this year’s tournament also has 12 Rio 2016 quota places available and offers one last glimpse at who could become Olympic legends.
(With PTI inputs)