Mary Kom qualifies for London Olympics
The 29-year-old Manipuri, who would be returning without a medal from the mega-event for the first time since its inception in 2001, made the cut after her quarterfinal nemesis Nicola Adams of England defeated Russia`s Elena Savelyeva 11-6 in the semifinals today.
"Olympic slot confirmed finally! I am so happy," the mother-of-two told PTI.
"I saw the bout. I know the Russian was not very good but I am a bit sad as well because I won`t have a medal around my neck this time," added the reigning Asian champion.
"Medal is very important for me. I am happy with the qualification but I am very upset not to get a medal."
Women`s boxing will make its Olympic debut in London in three weight categories – 51kg, 60kg and 75kg — and the ongoing world championships are the first and the only qualifying event for the quadrennial extravaganza.
In Mary Kom`s division, one slot had been taken by China`s Asian Games gold-medallist Ren Cancan, who is in final now. The other slot was to be decided between Mary Kom and North Korea`s Hye Kim. While Mary Kom had lost to world number two Adams, Kim had gone down to Savelyeva in the quarterfinals.
The winner of the Savelyeva-Adams bout was to decide the second slot for Asia and luckily for the Indian, the result went her way. "I was not tense before today`s bout. There was no point in worrying about something that was not in my hands. I only thought about god. God has seen my struggle and I knew my hard work would not go waste just because of one loss," she said.
"I will be the only Indian woman boxer at Olympics. I will be part of history and that really means a lot to me but I am sad that I won`t get a medal," she Mary Kom.
"I wanted to answer my detractors who were talking about my form and fitness but it`s ok, I guess," she added. But the results did not favour L Sarita Devi (60kg) as her pre-quarterfinal nemesis Natasha Jonas lost in the semifinals.
Jonas had to win a gold for Sarita to get the Asian Olympic slot. "I feel sad for Sarita, she had worked hard and I can understand the heartbreak she must be going through," said Mary Kom. In the 75kg division, India`s Pooja Rani had bowed out much earlier after losing in the first round itself.