CHENNAI: No matter how good an athlete, one never trains for injury. It's like the most random of events that can occur and visit you at the most unlikeliest of times. Any moment like an accident, something one can never predict. MC Mary Kom was almost sobbing on the other end of the phone when she narrated the incident during the trials of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. For her, the randomness was crushing.
"It has never happened to me before and I am struggling to come to terms with it," she said, her voice reflecting the exasperation she was going through, her words laced with myriad emotions. At 39 years of age, any injury can be as daunting as three rounds of fight in the ring. "It's devastating."
The words aptly captured the turmoil within. The injury is suspected to be an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear.
A six-time world champion, who has made numerous comebacks after breaks -- primarily due to childbirths, this perhaps could be the most challenging one. "I have been training for this and was sure of making the team," she said.
The Olympic medallist was fighting against Nitu in the 48kg trial on Friday when the unfortunate incident unfolded. After her tenure as Rajya Sabha MP got over, she moved to her bungalow in Faridabad recently and those were the couple of days she stayed away from the national camp in New Delhi. She shifted to the one-room hostel and trained.
"It is very painful," she said. "While I was some 30 seconds into the bout, suddenly I could feel as if my leg was stuck somewhere. There was pain and I could not move. There were no signs of any discomfort before the bout. There was no signal. It just happened."
What really bothered the veteran boxer is the gravity of the injury. Though her voice sounded sombre, there was firmness with which she said, "I will make a comeback again." The MRI was scheduled for Saturday evening and the rehabilitation and future course of medication would be decided after consulting specialists.
Even after pregnancies she never had a problem getting back to fitness. She felt she would be able to claw back. "I still feel I have one or two years of boxing left in me. I am sure I will get back to my old form. I am consulting specialists and after that we (my team) will draw up a plan for rehabilitation."
Like in the ring, even after being pushed to the ropes, she is not giving up hope. "I can fight my way out," she said. The course she would take, however, will be assessed in the days to come.
Lovlina, Nikhat set for CWG
Lovlina Borgohain (70kg), Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Nitu (48kg) and Jaismine (60kg) posted wins in the national trials in Delhi to secure 2022 CWG berths on Saturday. Tokyo Olympic medallist Lovlina and reigning world champ Nikhat asserted their dominance to outplay their rivals in the finals. Nitu and Jaismine had to work hard to make the cut.
Apart from the four women, eight men pugilists from the country will be travelling to Birmingham for the marquee event.
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