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Do better, Mary eggs on kids

Guwahati, Nov. 28: Dedication, discipline and determination personified, London Olympics bronze medallist M.C. Mary Kom today appealed to the younger generation to set a goal of overshadowing her achievements to be successful in sport.

Magnificent Mary was at the Sports Authority of India Guwahati regional centre here today to attend a felicitation ceremony on her way back to the airport after gracing the ongoing 13th Women’s Senior National Boxing Championship at Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi indoor stadium yesterday.

The 29-year-old national icon set herself as an example before a crowd of autograph-seeking youngsters saying, “If I can continue to excel even after being a mother of two, why can’t you youngsters do better than me? This is my challenge to every youngster.”

“There is no one rich or poor in sport. The one with dedication, determination and discipline becomes rich as he or she succeeds. I belong to a poor family but my efforts have paid off today with lots of love and honour from the nation,” she said.

The champion pugilist also batted for a longer career for the 39-year-old cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar. “If he is willing to carry on and has the will power, age cannot stop him. He should be allowed to play on and on so that he can set newer milestones for generations to come,” she said.

The five-time world champion expressed happiness that the nation has showed respect to her achievement in London and hoped it would encourage the younger generation to take up sport professionally. “I have got enough love and affection from everyone in this country. It is so motivating that I am now even more determined to do better in the Rio Olympics,” she said.

In a sabbatical since her Olympic feat, the flyweight (48-51 kg) pugilist said she was going to get back to her training for Rio by next month. Though she did not disclose it, sources close to her said Mary Kom might opt for a foreign coach in her preparation for the Rio Olympics.

Since her return from London, Mary Kom has been busy travelling, attending felicitations, shooting endorsements, television programmes, including soaps and movies.

She felt honoured that leading Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali was making a film, which stars Priyanka Chopra, on her life and achievements. “It is indeed an honour that a film is being made on me. I am told, the script is ready and shooting is about to start,” she told the media during a brief interaction, adding that given a chance, she would try to act in the film but was not sure if she could give the desired performance.