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Thoughts of retirement, even at 35, are like a pack of lies for champion boxer MC Mary Kom, who says she is far from relinquishing the queendom she has carved out for herself in all these years. The Olympic bronze medalist, five-time world champion and newly-crowned Commonwealth Games champion today swiftly put to rest speculations around possible retirement, which gained credence after she added the CWG gold to her glowing list of achievements.
The 35-year-old boxer said, “I have never talked about retirement, they were just rumours. Even I was shocked when I heard about my retirement,” Mary Kom told reporters in the Capital as India’s boxing team returned from the Gold Coast with three gold, three silver and three bronze medals. She has won almost everything but not winning one Olympic gold rankles. “An Olympic gold is what I am still dreaming. That remains an unfulfilled dream.”
She was devastated to miss out on a wildcard entry for the Rio 2016 Olympics. She seemed to have got worked up, when a question on calling it quits and age was put to her, but Mary Kom ended up managing it pretty well, often having the audience in splits and, in a lighter vein, also challenging the scribe for a fight.
“Who said my age is a factor? Come up and I will show what I can do,” she said in jest when asked about boxing in her mid-thirties. “This (age issue) should be taken out of the mind. I will know when my body will not allow me to carry on.” ‘Magnificent Mary’, who is a mother of three, conceded she had a busy schedule — as a professional athlete, parent and lawmaker — but warned her opponents against assuming she had too much on her plate.
“I have taken this challenge to keep fighting at 35 or 36. No one can guarantee winning or losing, but when I train nobody can beat me easily,” Mary Kom, a subject of a Bollywood film, said.