Guwahati: India’s Mary Kom defeated Miguelina Hernandez Garcia of the Dominican Republic by a split decision to advance into the last 16 round of the women’s 48kg category on Sunday.
The 38-year-old Mary Kom, who is a 2012 Olympic bronze-medallist, prevailed 4-1 against a rival who is 15 years her junior and a Pan American Games bronze-medallist.
Mary Kom was the first to step into the ring and in a bout that was also exciting from start to finish, the Manipuri displayed some brilliant tactics to overcome the fight that Garcia put up.
“It has been very painful, the last couple of years, for everybody because of the pandemic and everything shut down. We are all suffering the same problem and every athlete has to train at home, but for us boxers we need a training partner,” Mary Kom said in the mixed zone after her triumph.
“I am so lucky, I could set up a little gym with equipment and a bag, but the only thing missing was a sparring partner which is the most important for the eye contact and everything,” she added about the challenges building up to the Games amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pugilist Mary Kom will be up against the third seeded Valenica Victoria of Colombia on July 29.
The fact of the matter is, pugilist Kom has beaten the Colombian both times the two have faced, including the 2019 world championship quarterfinals.