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New generation of athletes is not hungry enough, says Mary Kom

Six-time world champion boxer MC Mary Kom feels the new generation of athletes is not hungry enough like her to achieve success and gets satisfied with just one big achievement.

The Olympic bronze medallist also said that she is “super fit” at 41 years of age and hungry to “achieve more and more”.

“I will fight (on), that fighting spirit only Mary Kom has… I have that something unique from other sports stars,” Mary Kom, who has not ruled out turning pro in the coming years, said during an event on Saturday.

“I am 41 years (old), I cannot fight any international (amateur) competition from this year because there is that age limit. But I want to continue for one, two or three years,” she said.

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Mary Kom added that the current generation, despite having more facilities and options in sports as compared to when she took up boxing, is not hungry enough.

“I am super fit, I want to achieve more and more, that hunger I have. This young generation, they (become) one (time) champion and finished, they are satisfied, (they) settle down. This is the difference,” she said.

“If, like me, they have that spirit and that hunger, we will have so many medals in our country,” Mary Kom added.

Incidentally, India returned with the richest-ever haul of 107 medals from the Asian Games in Hangzhou last year with many athletes winning multiple medals.

Mary Kom said she was pleased with the rise in number of young women taking up boxing.

“My hard work has paid off and now there are so many Mary Koms coming up. I feel so proud to be a girl, a mother, an Indian… so many are following my footsteps,” she said.

The boxing icon added that while training and the right kind of guidance were crucial for young athletes, hunger and inner drive are what make the difference.

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“Training is tough. Inner hunger and drive are the most important. Now, facilities are better. In 2001 when I started my career, no one knew women in boxing,” she said.

Mary Kom opined it requires a lot more determination to clinch a medal in individual sports compared to team events.

“(In) football, cricket and basketball (you) still have a chance… in individual sport, you lose and finish in one second. It comes from inside,  chahe kuch bhi ho jaye medal lena hai (you have to win a medal irrespective of what happens). If you’re not willing, nothing can happen,” she added.

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