May Kom says sorry, wishes Rio team

The 33-year-old's hopes of qualifying for the mega-event came a cropper a few days ago, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided not to award her a tripartite commission place.

A file picture of Mary Kom.   -  PTI

A disappointed Mary Kom apologised to the people of the nation for failing to gain a spot in the upcoming Rio Olympics.

“The people of India have given me tremendous support, so it is very unfortunate that I will not be able to compete at Rio. I am so sorry. I am not retired yet. Until the last breath leaves my body, I will not stop boxing,” Mary, who is here to inaugurate the Phoenix Market City ‘Ultimate Boxing Championship 2016’, said on Saturday.

The 33-year-old's hopes of qualifying for the mega-event came a cropper a few days ago, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided not to award her a tripartite commission place.

Mary stated that winning an Olympic medal is easier in the women’s section compared to the men's. “Firstly, I want to give my best wishes to all the Indian boxers who will fight at Rio. In the men’s section, getting a medal could be difficult, or it could be easy — it is very tough to predict. It is much easier for women. A few big punches and you can come back with a medal. But then, India has no representation in the women’s section,” she said.

The 2012 London Games bronze medallist is hopeful that an officially-recognised national federation will come into existence soon. The sport is currently being run by the international boxing association's (AIBA) ad-hoc committee. “Those who indulged in politics (in the now de-recognised national federations) do not suffer, it is the sport which suffers. Whenever I win a medal for India, I cry tears of joy when our flag goes up at the medal ceremony. It makes me feel so proud to be an Indian. It is so sad that we now have to compete under the IOC flag. Who started this (mess), and where does it end? I don’t know. I hope that everything is resolved soon. I’m worried about the future of Indian boxing, not my own career,” she said.