M C Mary Kom - another name for right fighting spirit

Mangte Chungneijang Merykom - also known as MC Mary Kom or Mary Kom, is a female boxer from Kangathei Village, Moirang Lamkhai in Manipur. She is the first woman boxer from India to have won Five World Titles in World Championships. She is the only boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six World Championships, starting with a silver in the inaugural 2001 edition.

Mary was born on 1st March 1983. She is the daughter of Mangte Tonpa Kom, and Mangte Akham Kom and eldest of her siblings. She has come from a farmer’s family and since her childhood she had been helping her parents by working in the fields, cutting woods, making charcoal and fishing. Mary also had to spend a good amount of time looking after her two younger sisters and a brother. On 12 March, 2005 Mary got married to K.Onler Kom of Samulamlan Block whom she met in Delhi. Now she is a mother of two children.

Mary Kom took a keen interest in athletics when she was in class VI in Loktak Christian Mission School, Moirang. She began boxing in 2000 concealing the fact from her family. And due to her ‘quick learning ability’, in just two weeks, she had learnt all the basics of boxing. Her first success came from winning the ‘First State Level Invitation Women's Boxing Championship’ in Manipur in 2000 which made her popular and got her photograph published in the newspaper. Initially, after her interest for boxing was revealed, her parents were not happy to see their daughter’s battered and bruised face. But they had to give in to her interest when Merykom went on to win the gold in the Seventh East India Women’s Boxing Championship held in West Bengal and subsequently to win five Indian National Championships from 2000 to 2005.

Mary Kom, made her entry into the world of sports first at the age of seventeen as an athlete competing at state level. When Dingko Singh, the boxer from Manipur, came back home winning the Asian Championship title at Bangkok, the desire for her to be in the ring finally got a much needed lift. After her first success, she went on to clinch her first national title at the ‘1st Women National Boxing Championship’ held at Chennai in 2001 followed by her win in the ‘Seventh East India Women’s Boxing Championship’ held in West Bengal the same year. Mary entered the international arena in 2001 in the first ‘AIBA World Women's Boxing Championship’ in Scranton, USA’. The 18-year-old Merykom had to settle for silver, losing to Hulya Sahin of Turkey in the final. In 2002, she brought home her first international title winning the ‘Second AIBA World Women’s Senior Boxing Championship’ in Antalya, Turkey. In 2003, she struck gold again in the finals of ‘Asian Women Championship’ held at Hissar and continued with a win in the ‘Third Asian Women's Championship’ held in Taiwan.

Mary took a two year break from boxing when she gave birth to twins. After a gap of two years, she realized that coming back into professional boxing is not an easy decision. But with the determination and intense training, in 2008, she won the ‘International Boxing Association (AIBA) 5th Women’s World Championships’ in China winning her fourth title. AIBA was obligated to name her ‘Magnificent Mary' and subsequently made her the face of its campaign for the inclusion of women's boxing in the 2012 London Olympics. AIBA also conferred her the ‘AIBA Special Award’ for her outstanding contribution to boxing. Apart from these, Marykom won many other titles in the national and international level. On September 19, 2010, M C Mary Kom claimed a historic fifth successive ‘World Championship’ title, beating Steluta Duta of Romania in the final held in Bridgetown.

On Nov 9, 2009, Marykom was awarded ‘Sahara Sports Women of The Year’ award in Mumbai. For her outstanding contributions in the field of sports, she was awarded ‘Arjuna Award’ in 2003 followed by ‘Padmashree Award’ in 2005 and the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award’ in 2009. She was listed in the ‘People of the Year’ by Limca Book of Records in 2007. Mary became the ‘Pepsi MTV Youth Icon’ in 2008. In 2009, she got the honor of becoming the ‘International Boxing Association’s Ambassador for Women’s Boxing’.

She got the Bronze medal in the London Olympics 2012 after losing to Britain's Nicola Adams on August 8, 2012. Mary had to switch two weight categories to get to 51kg.

Today, boxer M C Mary Kom stands as a shining example of “Mission (almost) Accomplished”. "To be a successful boxer one must also have a strong heart. Some women are physically strong but fail when it comes to having a strong heart. One also must have the zeal and the right fighting spirit," says M C Mary kom.

Gold Medals
  • 2014 - Asian Games 2014
  • 2012 - 6th Asian Women’s Boxing Championship against Ren Cancan of China
  • 2010 - World Championship against Steluta Duta of Romania
  • 2008 - International Boxing Association (AIBA) 5th Women’s World Championship
  • 2006 - AIBA World Championships against Steluta Duta of Romania
  • 2005 - Third AIBA Women's World Championships against Jong Ok of North Korea
  • 2005 - Indian National Championship
  • 2004 - Asian Women's Boxing Championships against Gretchen Abaniel Philippines
  • 2004 - Women's World Boxing Tournament against Derya Aktop of Turkey
  • 2004 - Witch Cup Tournament
  • 2004 - Indian National Championship
  • 2003 - Indian National Championship
  • 2003 - Third Asian Women's Championship
  • 2003 - Asian Women Championship
  • 2002 - Second AIBA World Women’s Senior Boxing Championship against Svetlana Miroshnichenko of Ukraine
  • 2002 - Indian National Championship
  • 2001 - Seventh East India Women’s Boxing Championship 
  • 2001 - Indian National Championship
  • 2000 - Indian National Championship
  • 2000 - First State Level Invitation Women's Boxing Championship

    Other Achievements

    • 2012 - Bronze medal in London Olympics 2012 (51 kg category)

    Awards and Honors
  • 2010 - Sportswoman of the year 2010, Sahara Sports Award
  • 2009 - Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
  • 2009 - International Boxing Association’s Ambassador for Women’s Boxing
  • 2008 - CNN-IBN ‘Real Heroes’ Award
  • 2008 - ‘Magnificent Mary’, AIBA
  • 2008 - Pepsi MTV Youth Icon 2008
  • 2007 - People of the Year- Limca Book of Records
  • 2006 - Padma Shree (Sports)
  • 2004 - Arjuna Award (Boxing)
(Photograph taken from - http://www.topnews.in/indoor-asian-games-mary-kom-spearhead-indias-challenge-2230705)