People were not yet done with the reel Mary Kom that the prodigy gave the country more reasons to celebrate. Her Dil is indeed Ziddi!
Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmagte (Priyanka Chopra has indeed made us realize who that is!) became the first Indian woman boxer to clinch a gold medal at the Asian Games after she came from behind to beat Kazakhstan’s Zhaina Shekerbekova in the flyweight (51 kg) summit clash.
Combining her hooks and uppercuts to Shekerbekova’s torso, Mary Kom drew level albeit on a split decision. And then Magnificent Mary showed the world her true colours to which the Kazakh could respond only by holding her.
She is one of India’s most decorated women having won the country’s highest sporting award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2009 followed by the third highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan in 2013. Appropriately, her autobiography is titled the ‘Unbreakable”.
Mary’s determination was as much in her punches as her words. She really didn’t settle for anything less than Gold.
So was the determination of Sarita Devi, who refused to accept the Bronze medal for the lightweight 57- 60 kg category after being a victim of biased judging which robbed her of victory and a shot at Gold. Sarita believed it was her and not the Korean counterpart who had won the match, claiming it to be fixed by the hosts. Her opponent Park Ji- Na herself said that she was embarrassed by what had happened and Sarita had been the winner.
There are some who might want to go into the rights and wrongs of Sarita’s actions but this wasn’t a rational decision. This was an emotional decision made by someone who felt wronged; who felt robbed and who at 32 may never fight at the highest level again.
And the hurt will not go away easily. But if words could help — then in our eyes, Sarita doesn’t need a medal. She is a winner all the way.
Here is the fight for all those who still haven’t witnessed it.
Manipur seems to be synonymous to boxers, courage, determination and utmost pride. Inspired by the likes of Mary Kom and Dingko Singh among others, teenaged boxers from Manipur’s villages travel at the crack of dawn to the capital city of Imphal to train for a few hours at one of the three government- run institutions before the schools begin. With little infrastructure and support for facilities forthcoming, it is incredible that the State has produced more then 50 world champions till date. Despite this, Mary Kom’s biopic wasn’t screened in her own state owing to the separatist militant group, Revolutionary People’s Front.
Both these ladies have indeed made us proud!