Mary Kom confident of good show in 2012 Olympics

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Jamshedpur:  Four-time world champion pugilist MC Mary Kom is confident of maintaining her form till 2012 to bring laurels for the country in London Olympics, when women's boxing will be introduced for the first time.

Mary Kom won medals at all the five world championships held so far, including an unprecedented fourth successive gold that she clinched at last year's edition held in China.

The 27-year-old, who was in the steel city to take part in ongoing 10th Senior National Women's Boxing championship, said like every sportsperson she has also been nurturing the dream to represent the country in Olympics and win a medal.

"I have been practising rigorously under a trainer to secure a gold for the country for the mega event in 2012," the pin weight (46kg) pugilist said on Saturday.

"Hard work and will power is what one needs to ignite the fire," she said.

Asked whether she would favour a foreign coach to improve her performance in the Olympics, Mary Kom, who is representing All India Police Board (AIPB), said Indian coaches are good enough.

"However, the issue has to be decided by the officials of the Indian Boxing Federation," she added.

Mary Kom described the 2008 world championship victory in China her best-ever performance because it was her comeback tournament.

Expressing happiness that she has a sponsor to support till the 2012 Olympics, Mary Kom, who won her preliminary round bout against Shakuntala (Chhattisgarh) in 46 kg category last night, said right now she was focussing on the National Games and the Asian Indoor Championships to be held in Vietnam from October 30 to November 8.

She felt that Indian boxers should start preparations now for the 2012 Olympics if they want to do well in the quadrennial extravaganza.

"We should have started preparation much earlier like China which might have already begun preparations for the (2012) Olympics," Mary Kom, who was recently honoured with the country's highest sports award Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, replied when asked whether India has enough time for the Olympics.

Mary Kom's team-mate L Sarita Devi, however, favoured a foreign coach before the 2012 Olympics.

Devi, the international pugilist who belongs to the same state of Manipur like Mary Kom, said it was not that Indian coaches were not capable for the job, as the Indian women boxing team have been performing well at the international level under their tutelage.

"But still, appointing a foreign coach would help us understand the technique and improve our performance further," said the Arjuna awardee and nine-time national champion in 57 kg weight category.

27-year-old Devi had also won bronze in the World Championship held in China last year.

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