Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte, better known as Mary Kom is an Indian Olympic boxer from Manipur. She is the only woman to become World Amateur Boxing champion for a record six times, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the seven world championships.
Mary Kom, born on 1st March 1983, is famed as the only boxer to win a medal in every one of the six world championships. In the 2012 Olympics, she became the first Indian women boxer to qualify and win a bronze medal in the 51 kg flyweight category of Boxing.
Mary was born in Kangathei, Manipur. She did her schooling from Loktak Christian Model High School, Moirang till class VI and studied in St. Xavier Catholic School, Moirang till class VIII. She then completed her schooling from NIOS, Imphal and did her graduation from Churachandpur College. Mary Kom is a mother of twin sons, Rechungvar and Khupneivar; and is married to K Onler Kom. She had an eager interest in athletics since childhood and the success of Dingko Singh is what really inspired her to become a boxer.
Mary Kom’s career started in 2000 after her victory in the Manipur state women’s boxing championship and the regional championship in West Bengal. In 2001, she started competing at international level. She was only 18 years old when she made her international debut at the first AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in United States,winning a silver medal in the 48 kg weight category. In 2002, she won a gold medal in the 45 kg weight class at the second AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in Turkey. She also won a gold medal in the 45 kg weight category at the Witch Cup in Hungary in the same year.
In 2003, Mary Kom won a gold medal in the 46 kg weight class at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championship in India and in 2004 she won a gold medal at the Women’s Boxing World Cup in Norway. In 2005, she again won a gold medal at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championship in Taiwan and the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in Russia both in the 46 kg weight class. In 2006, she won a gold medal at the Venus Women’s Box Cup in Denmark and won gold again at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in India.
After a one year break, Mary Kom returned in 2008 to win a silver medal at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championship held in India and won a fourth successive gold medal at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in China, both were in the 46 weigh category. In 2009 she won a gold medal at the Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam.
In 2010, Mary Kom won a gold medal at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championship in Kazakhstan and her fifth consecutive gold medal in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in Barbados. She competed in the 48 kg weight class because AIBA had discontinued using the 46 kg class. She also participated in the 51 kg weight class at the Asian Games and won a bronze medal.
In the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi, India. She had the honor of holding the Queen’s Baton along with Vijender Singh for the opening ceremony run in the stadium. However, she did not compete as women’s boxing event was not included in the Games. In 2011, she won a gold medal in the 48 kg weight class at the Asian Women’s Cup in China. In 2012, she won a gold medal in the 51 kg weight class at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championship in Mongolia.
The 2012 London Olympics brought her more respect and honor as she became the first Indian women boxer to qualify and win a bronze medal at the Olympics. She took part in the 51 kg weight category and also became the third Indian woman to win an individual medal at the Olympics. In 2014 Asian Games, she won a gold medal and created history for India. She won the gold in the women’s flyweight (48-52 kg) division which was her first gold medal in the Asian Games.