Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom (born 1 March 1983), better known as Mary Kom, is an Indian boxer hailing from the Kom tribe in Manipur. She is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships.
Nicknamed “Magnificent Mary”, she is the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the flyweight (51 kg) category and winning the bronze medal. She has also been ranked as No. 4 AIBA World Women’s Ranking Flyweight category.
She became the first Indian woman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. On 26th April 2016, she was nominated by the President of India as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament.
Kom, who had previously fought in the 46 and 48 kg categories, shifted to the 51 kg category after the world body decided to allow women’s boxing in only three weight categories eliminating the lower weight classes.
At the 2012 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship, Kom was competing not just for the championship itself but also for a place at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the first time women’s boxing had featured as an Olympic sport. She was defeated in the 51 kg quarter-finals by Nicola Adams of the UK, but did succeed in getting a place for the Olympics. She was the only Indian woman to qualify for boxing event, with Laishram Sarita Devi narrowly missing a place in the 60 kg class.
Kom’s coach Charles Atkinson could not join her at the Olympic Village as he didn’t possess an International Boxing Association (AIBA) 3 Star Certification, which is mandatory for accreditation. She had all her luggage and passport stolen on the way to the selection camp in Bangkok, Thailand for her first Asian Women’s Boxing Championships. In the quarter-final, she defeated Maroua Rahali of Tunisia with a score of 15-6. She faced Nicola Adams of UK in the semi-final but lost the bout 6 points to 11. However, she stood third in the competition and garnered an Olympic Bronze medal.
In recognition, the Manipur Government awarded her Rs 50 lakhs and two acres of land in a cabinet meeting held on 9 August 2012.
Want to become a writer at BFY?
send us your resume with a demo article/blog on sports or fitness at