Six-time world champion boxer Mary Kom wants to end her career with a medal at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou in September this year. She doesn’t have much time to regain full fitness. In such a situation, she will be ‘forced’ to retire next year.
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Mary Kom announced on Monday at a Women’s Boxing World Championship sponsorship press conference that she was planning to make a comeback towards the latter half of 2023. She is an eye on the Asian Games or other international boxing events before retiring next year.
The veteran boxer had torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) after she twisted her left knee. She got injured during the Commonwealth Games selection trials last year. After that, she had to undergo surgery in August. Speaking at the unveiling of the Indian team’s jersey ahead of the Women’s World Championship, Mary Kom said, “What happened during the Commonwealth Games trials was very unfortunate. I suffered a major injury and I had to undergo a surgery. I’m trying to come back soon because I have only this year. Next year I’ll be forced to retire. So this year I want to compete in any competition before retirement.”
“I don’t want to retire at all. I want to compete for the next five years, but above 40, we can’t compete, that is the rule. My main (target) is the Asian Games, hopefully I will recover by then. I will have time for preparation too. It is my dream to compete once this year before retirement.” Mary Kom added.
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The Asian Games will start from September 23 to October 8 this year. London Olympics bronze medalist Mary Kom will have to go through a new selection process in the prestigious event. This will require boxers to undergo an assessment test at the national camp. However, the IBA rules are unclear on whether an athlete’s retirement age is 40 or after the end of the 40th year. Mary Kom is eligible to take part in international tournaments and the Asian Games if an elite boxer can participate in competitions in their 40th year.
“I’ll recover by the time the Asian Games come and will have had enough preparation. At least this year before retirement I want to compete in the Asian Games.” said Mary Kom to reporters on Monday.