New Delhi: Six-time World champion M.C. Mary Kom has successfully completed her quarantine time and now after being tested negative for the Covid-19, has joined the National camp at the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS), Vijayanagara for further training.
After the Asian Olympic qualifying event in Amman, Jordan, in March last year, Mary, who had secured a 51kg berth in the Tokyo Olympics, had stayed away from the elite national camp and competitions because of the pandemic.
Excited to join National camp, Mary on completion of her quarantine said, “It feels great to be back in the National camp. This is the first time in my life that I stayed away from a camp for such a long duration.”
This is deemed as her longest ever stay from the ring as the Mary Kom will resume her training on Monday at the boxing national camp at Bellary’s Inspire Institute of Sport, nearly one year after she was qualified for her second Olympics.
“Things are much better now, and the vaccine coming was good news. I had a discussion with my husband and coach and felt it was time to go out there and train. I had to take this step because if I don’t do proper training for another month, I will be late in my preparations for the Tokyo Olympics and won’t be able to achieve my dream,” added boxing champion.
“I was taking all precautions against Covid and I contracted dengue (in November). I had a fever for a week; my body was feeling very weak, I was barely able to speak for 2-3 days. I was sapped of energy and fighting negative thoughts. I also gained 5-6 kg weight. After I recovered, the kids had chickenpox one after another. It was a very tough phase for the family,” said 37-year-old champion.
In her media interaction, the mother of three children and the international boxing star also revealed that she has been training at home with coach Chhote Lal, a physio and strength and conditioning expert. “I am still recovering and I am 80-90 per cent now. But the rhythm is coming back. I will start slowly, don’t want to push myself immediately otherwise, there will be chances of injury. I will see how the body takes the strain and step up accordingly.”
Meanwhile, to train the boxers High Performance coach Santiago Nieva and women’s chief coach Raffelle Bergamasco will be in Bellary. With 52 elite boxers including 22 women, the camp began on December 26 and will run till February 18.
“The coaches are there to take a call on how to go about training and preparation. The good thing is that I have qualified and I have the experience. I would like to take part in at least 2-3 competitions before the Olympics and get into that rhythm of fighting. You can’t go to the Olympics without taking part in any competition. It is about one bout and you will be knocked out. It has been close to a year since I competed,” said Mary Kom.
Being asked about centre’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign Mary Kom said it is for the government to decide on whether Tokyo-bound athletes should get the Covid-19 vaccine on priority basis. “The government has its priority. Old people, health care workers are the priority right now. If we get the vaccine, it is fine but that’s the government’s call.”
She also said that pandemic has taught her to not take anything for granted, she said. “You see, it has been a difficult time for everyone. The kids are not able to go to school, learning online. Sometimes I feel for them, what they are missing out, and worried whether they are being left behind in studies. But things are progressing now and hope they will be back to school.”