Tokyo 2020: Mary Kom’s bid for 2nd Olympic medal over after Round of 16 defeat to Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia
India’s boxing great Mary Kom’s bid to win a second Olympic medal ended in the pre-quarters of Tokyo Olympics on Thursday. The London Olympics bronze medalist lost to 3rd seed Ingrit Valencia of Colombia via split decision in a closely-contest Round of 16 match in the Women’s Flyweight category.
Mary Kom proved why she is one of the most-loved athletes in the country when she came up with a reaction that symbolised her graceful acceptance of the defeat at the Kokugikan Arena. In probably her last Olympic appearance, the mother of four gave it her all, testing the Rio Olympics bronze medalist to the limits.
Mary lost the Round of 16 bout by the barest of margins as it was a 3-2 decision in favour of Colombia’s Ingrit. In fact, it was Ingrit’s first win in 3 attempts against the Indian boxer.
Mary did not have the best of starts to the match on Thursday as Ingrit went on the offensive from the word go. The 32-year-old used her experience to push Mary on the back foot early, taking the first round 4-1.
But Mary stormed back! The 38-year-old played it smart in the second round, landing the scoring punches at will and swaying away from moves from her opponent. She took the 2nd round 3-2.
However, in the third round of what was a high-quality boxing bout, Mary looked visibly tired. She went for the kill but it was not enough for the legendary Indian.
Earlier this week, Mary Kom came up with a dominant display of boxing in her opening round on Sunday. She defeated Dominican Republic’s Miguelina Hernandez Garcia 4-1.
Coming up against Migueline who is 15 years her junior, Mary showcased all her experience by coming up with a tactical masterclass. The 38-year-old, a mother of four, started on a cautious note, swaying away from punches and gauging her opponent, who is a a Pan American Games bronze-medallist.
However, in the last 3 minutes, Mary was aggression, personified. She landed scoring punches at will to jolt Migueline and take the match comfortably.
Mary Kom put behind the disappointment of missing the Rio Olympics qualification and provided she was not done by winning the world championships gold medal in of her home fans in 2018. A bronze followed at the 2019 World Championships.
After returning to action following the pandemic, Mary Kom proved she was all charged up for Tokyo by winning a silver in the Asian Championships in May 21.
Mary, a 6-time world champion, has won everything that is there to be won, but only the Olympic gold medal is/was missing from her decorated trophy cabinet.