India’s hopes of bagging another medal in the Tokyo Olympics hit a massive bump as six-time world champion Mary Kom went down fighting to 2016 bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia in a fierce battle on Thursday. The multiple-time Asian Champion and a bronze medal winner in the 2012 London Olympics lost 2-3 to the Columbian Valencia, giving her best shot in what would be his last Olympic bout.
The way Valencia rushed in when the first bell rang, it was evident it would be an uphill battle for the 38-year-old Mary Kom. The Manipuri veteran started the bout slowly and was a bit too defensive in the first round. Valencia capitalized on a rusty looking Mary Kom, delivering clean punches to comprehensively win the first round. Mary Kom could only hit one 10 against Valencia’s four.
The Indian stalwart came back hard with a series of punches, hooks and cuts to stun Valencia. The Columbian went on defence against Mary Kom who was all charged up after the loss in the first round. The round ended in Mary Kom’s favour, with three 10s against Valencia’s two.
Both boxers ran out of gas in the third round and looked exhausted. Even though Mary Kom kept on landing the punches, she lost the bout 3-2 on points. Mary Kom was stunned with the final result as 2 judges ruled the bout in favour of Ingrit while two went with the Indian boxing legend. She even raised her arm before realizing that Ingrit was declared the winner. The veteran couldn’t believe the final result and was seen in tears.
“I will play until I’m 40, this match was very unfortunate. The decision was very unfortunate. “They clearly said they will not accept a single protest from the beginning. This was cleared before the bout. I thought I will come back with the medal but I don’t know what’s wrong. I can’t still believe that I’ve lost the match.
Mary Kom had earlier beaten Valencia in the 2019 world championship quarterfinals and this was her first loss to the Columbian.
What a bittersweet moment. Mary Kom loses 3-2 to Ingrit Valencia of Colombia. I first thought Mary misheard the verdict when she raised her hand. Only she knows how tough making the Olympics for one final dance, as a 38 year old mom of 4 was. Truly the grand dame of Indian boxing
— jonathan selvaraj (@jon_selvaraj) July 29, 2021
Graceful in defeat. Thanks for the memories, Mary Kom. Legend
— Shashank Kishore (@captainshanky) July 29, 2021
— Randeep Hooda (@RandeepHooda) July 29, 2021
A legend's campaign ends today 💔#IND's MC Mary Kom bids the Olympic stage adieu after a 3-2 split decision loss to Rio 2016 bronze medallist, Ingrit Valencia 🥊#StrongerTogether | #UnitedByEmotion | #Boxing | #Tokyo2020 | @MangteC pic.twitter.com/MgjKvWnbRN
— #Tokyo2020 for India (@Tokyo2020hi) July 29, 2021
Fast hands, Fast feet, Fire in the Ring
Mary bows out to Ingrit Valencia, who moves into the QFs. Absolutely brilliant fight by @MangteC #LegendForever #RukengeNahi #EkIndiaTeamIndia #Cheer4India pic.twitter.com/CB0iXa3JbF
— Team India (@WeAreTeamIndia) July 29, 2021
What an effort from Mary Kom. She almost won it against a top boxer who had the age advantage. If this is to be her last bout, she fought it like the champion she has always been.
— Kaushal Shukla (@KasualShukla) July 29, 2021
What an Olympic journey for Mary Kom over the years. What a champion. If there’s one Indian athlete I’d want in my corner, it’s got to be Queen Kom. Thanks for the memories, legend.
— Indranil Das Blah (@indranildasblah) July 29, 2021
#MaryKom may have lost but her plucky performance & graceful acceptance of defeat was heart-winning. And an education. This is the mettle & character that defines gr8 sportspersons. As a nation we owe Mary everlasting gratitude: for trail she’s blazed, legacy she leaves behind
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) July 29, 2021