India's star female boxer, MC Mary Kom could not book her Rio Olympics tickets during the qualifiers, after two attempts in March and May. The All India Boxing Association raised hopes of participation, as the the body requested the International Olympic Committee for a wild card, only to see that rejected on Wednesday.
This denial of a wild card quashed her dreams of winning a gold medal for India at the Olympics. Mary Kom had won bronze in the London Olympics. The boxer is heartbroken after IOC's decision, but the 33-year-old insisted she is not ready to retire yet.
"I have been duly informed that I won't be getting a wildcard for the Olympics. It is heartbreaking but it is something which I had no control on. I have to accept this decision but I am not quitting the sport right now. I will continue to compete till I am feeling fit and for the time being I think I am fit," PTI quoted Mary Kom as saying.
Though she might not be heading to the Olympics as part of the India contingent, she will still continue her training, and try to maintain her level of fitness. However, there is no major competition in the year for Mary Kom, and she can devote more time to her academy, where the star trains young boxers.
"I am aware that retirement is something that would be talked about a lot but for the time being I have dropped the idea. Of course I would be spending more time at my academy training young kids but I will continue to devote as much time to my training as well," Mary Kom said.
"There are no competitions apart from Olympics this year. So I have a lot of time at hand to think and reflect. I will see how things go. It will all depend on my fitness, I feel fit right now. If I continue to feel the same way, I would continue for some time."
Irrespective of when she retires, Mary Kom will always be regarded as India's greatest female boxer, who played an important role in promoting women's boxing in the country. The Manipuri woman was at the peak of her career during 2002-2010, when she won the prestigious Women's World Boxing Championship five times.
Women's boxing was only accepted as an Olympic sport in 2009, which allowed Mary Kom to participate in the last Olympics, but at a higher weight level, where she finished third. Mary Kom's ambition of winning a gold medal for India, it seems, will always be dream.