Diminutive M C Mary Kom today punched her way into the women’s boxing semifinals and assured India of a historic fourth medal at the London Olympics with an emphatic 15-6 win over Maroua Rahali of Tunisia in the 51kg quarterfinal bout.
The five-time world champion and the face of women’s boxing in India for the past decade has now been assured of at least a bronze medal in the inaugural edition of women’s boxing in the Games.
She will also be the third Indian woman after Karnam Malleswari and Saina Nehwal to win an Olympic medal.
The fourth medal that she would eventually win at the end of her campaign would provide the country with its best-ever medal haul in the Games history, the previous high being the three won at Beijing four years ago.
The 29-year-old Mary was far too superior for her opponent as she gradually increased the lead with a fine blend of aggression and defence to ensure India’s second boxing medal (Vijender Singh bagged a bronze in Beijing Games) in Olympic history.
‘Magnificent Mary’, as she is known in the boxing fraternity, fought in a calculative manner as she used the first round to sort out her Tunisian opponent and then slowly upped the ante in the subsequent three rounds.
Spurred on by vociferous Indian supporters who kept chanting her name right through the bout, Mary was tactically much better than her Tunisian rival, who had no clue how to tackle the Indian.
She will take on local favourite and second seed Nicola Adams of Great Britain, who prevailed over Stoyka Petrova of Bulgaria with a convincing 16-7 win, in the semi-finals to be held on August 8.
“I am extremely happy. Now I hope my dreams will come true. For the past year I have been dreaming of an Olympic medal and now I am ready,” the Manipur-born boxer said after her bout.
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