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Never let anyone limit your achievements because you are a woman, says Mary Kom

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Mary Kom is a superwoman. She is a five-time world boxing champion and Olympic bronze medallist who attaches utmost importance to her game. She didn’t just achieve the feat with the wave of a magic wand but won it with her grit, determination, and practice. She is an inspiration to the women who made female boxing popular in India.

She is also a daughter, wife, and mother. She takes her role at home as seriously as she takes her game. Not to forget she is a Member of Parliament too and diligently delivers what is expected of her.

It is fascinating how she plays her multiple roles with such panache. Always calm and composed, her smile spells strength for those who know her.

Besides being a brilliant boxer, she is also a gem of a person. She is kind, considerate and compassionate.

Here are the excerpts of the interview with the Olympic medallist:

Q: What does it mean for you to be a fighter?

Mary Kom: Since childhood I love sport. Every child loves to play. It’s a huge thing for me to take up sports, specially boxing. My career starts from boxing. So, it does mean a lot for me. I have achieved everything through boxing.

Q: Who has been your biggest inspiration in your journey?

Mary Kom: My biggest inspiration is the legend Muhammed Ali. He inspired me to take up boxing.

Q: If you could have one dream fight with anyone who would it be?

Mary Kom: (laughs) Very difficult to decide who it will be – it can be woman or man – anybody who wants to fight with me just for fun will be welcomed.

Q: How do you balance your personal and professional life being a woman?

Mary Kom: Being a woman, I have to take up many roles – from being a mother to look after the family, being a boxer to maintain myself, another responsibility being a Member of Parliament – there are so many things in my personal life. There are different things to face in my life. The most is to maintain the performance because this is very important for me being a sportsperson. I have alredy achieved this level. And to maintain this high level is very very important.

Q: What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career?

Mary Kom: It’s not end yet actually – I’m still continuing – but the biggest will be Olympics – if I win gold medal in Olympics. I want this to be remembered at the end.

Q: As a woman who has taken up so many roles, which of your roles is the most challenging – that of a boxer, a homemaker, a wife and mother or as a lawmaker in Rajya Sabha?

Mary Kom: I think every role is challenging. Being a woman, being a mother, being a sportsperson, being a Member of Parliament – all of these have been difficult. Handling all this all at once is challenging. We as a woman face a lot of difficulties.

Q: Since we are talking to an achiever on the occasion of Women’s Day, do you feel we need more women lawmakers in India? Also, do you support implementation of 33 per cent reservation for women?

Mary Kom: If you ask me, yes we need to have more women lawmakers. Women are strong and must pursue their dreams at all cost. You may fail first, second or even the third time but if you show perseverance you will succeed one day. I have seen failure too. When I started boxing, nobody believed in me because I am a woman. They said boxing is a man’s game. But see, how things have changed. Today many many more women are taking up this sport. I have taken criticism in my stride and fought to prove people wrong.

Q: You are eyeing the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Where do you get the resolve from? What keeps you going?

Mary Kom: The resolve comes from sheer willpower. It comes from within. When we achieve people appreciate but when we don’t a lot of flak comes our way. The idea is to remain positive. I always tell myself that if somebody can, I can too? I keep telling myself that I can do it. My biggest support comes from my husband. After my marriage things became complicated. But with my husband’s support and my willpower I kept fighting and never once gave up. This is the only reason I could continue fighting with boxers younger than me and achieving my goals. It is important that my passion for the game stays alive in me. Whether you succeed or not you have to keep going. You cannot let the passion die. One day you will feel proud of what you have done and that will bring you the enormous joy.

Q: Can you share with us your future plans?

Mary Kom: There are so many things I want to do. I want to contribute to the youth, especially those in my profession I currently run my boxing academy. My academy looks after the needs of boxers who are not privileged enough to afford training. I have chosen some of the girls and post retirement I want to dedicate my time to bring up the next Mary Kom. I want to do more for my country.

She shared a special message for women on this year’s International Women’s Day. Mary wants every woman to believe that nothing is impossible if one has determination. “Every woman is strong” she stresses. She pleads with women to go ahead and chase their dreams. “Nobody can stop you. At the end people will recognise you for what you have done. I have also done it, you can do it too,” she said in her parting note.

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Rajasthan Royals launches ‘Go Green’ initiative

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Rajasthan Royals extends their gratitude towards Royal Challengers Bangalore and their skipper Virat Kohli for presenting the momentous sapling to their captain Ajinkya Rahane.

The ceremony marked the beginning of ‘Go Green’ initiative by the Rajasthan Royal as part of which the team has aimed to plant one million saplings across the state of Rajasthan.

This initiative will be undertaken in association with Government of Rajasthan and other NGOs that will work towards creating rural futures and develop the community as a whole.

The Rajasthan Royal Team will start planting saplings across the periphery of our fortress, Sawai Mansingh stadium followed by various locations across the state of Rajasthan.

Further, they will spread awareness regarding green- carpooling, rainwater harvesting and waste management.

Executive Chairman of Royal Challengers Bangalore Ranjit Barthakur said, “The relentless Go-green approach of RCB has brought together great changes in common perceptions. This environment is ours. The pillar of social responsibility is directly entwined with environmental sustainability. We are thankful to Mr. Amrit Thomas and Royal Challengers Bangalore for having chosen RR for their annual Go green match.”

A Go Green garden will soon be in making to support the Go Green initiative of Royals Challengers Bangalore.

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PM Modi hails weightlifters Sanjita Chanu, Deepak Lather for CWG heroics

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday heaped praises on weightlifters Sanjita Chanu and Deepak Lather after the two made the country proud by clinching gold and bronze, respectively, at the ongoing 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

On the second day of the Games, Sanjita handed India its second gold medal by outshining in the women’s 53 kg category event.

Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Modi congratulated Chanu for picking up gold before adding that the entire nation was overjoyed by his exemplary performance.

“A second Gold for India! Congratulations to K Sanjita Chanu on winning the Gold Medal in the Women’s 53 kg weightlifting event. The nation is overjoyed by this exemplary performance,” he tweeted.

Prime Minister Modi then extended his greetings to Lather, who bagged a bronze medal in the men’s 69 kg category.

He wrote, “Our weightlifters are in superb form! My young friend Deepak Lather wins a Bronze in the Men’s 69 kg category. Congratulations to this youngster and all the best for his future endeavours.”

Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind also congratulated Lather for handing India its fourth medal at the Commonwealth Games.

“Fourth Medal for India at #GC2018. Congratulations to Deepak Lather for winning a Bronze in Weightlifting (Men’s, 69 Kg Category) #PresidentKovind,” President Kovind tweeted.

Sanjita set a new record in the game by lifting a total of 192 kgs, which includes 84 kgs in Snatch and 108 kgs in the Clean and Jerk.

Her gold came a day after her Manipuri teammate Saikhom Mirabai Chanu bagged the country’s first gold in the women’s weightlifting 48 kg category event.

Thereafter, 18-year-old Deepak lifted a combined weight of 295kg (136kg in snatch and 159kg in Clean and Jerk).

With this, he became the youngest Indian weightlifter to claim a Commonwealth Games medal.

India are currently placed third in the Games after England and Australia, having clinched four medals in total including two gold.

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Cricket

David Warner issues tearful apology over ball-tampering

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Sydney || Australian opener David Warner issued a tearful apology on Saturday for his part in the ball-tampering scandal during the third cricket Test against South Africa last weekend, but left a lot of questions unanswered as to his actual role in the episode.

Warner was one of three players banned for their involvement in the ball-tampering controversy on the third day of the Test at Cape Town. Steve Smith, who also lost his captaincy, received a 12-month ban, as did Warner.

Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months.

Warner has been barred by Cricket Australia from ever holding a leadership position again. He did not say whether he would appeal. He repeatedly apologised as he made his first public comments since the scandal broke, but did not address questions about his involvement, detail the roles of other teammates in the plot to cheat, or whether there’d been any previous attempts at ball-tampering.

“To all Australians, whether you’re a cricket fan or not, I apologise for the impact those actions have had on our country’s reputation. I’ve only ever wanted to bring glory to my country through playing cricket.

“I failed in my responsibilities as vice captain of the Australian cricket team.”

Warner was accused of developing the plan to use sandpaper to scuff the ball on the third day of the Cape Town Test against South Africa. Cricket Australia investigators also alleged he advised Bancroft how to scuff the ball and failed to voluntarily report of his knowledge of the plan after the match.

Warner cut short the news conference after being asked if he was being singled out as the instigator of the plan.

While a contrite Bancroft and tearful Smith each faced news conferences soon after their arrivals on Thursday, Warner waited two days to front the media.

On Saturday, he made a special point of apologising to cricket fans and players in South Africa, saying “I have brought the game into disrepute on your soil, and I apologise 100 per cent.” He said he still hoped to return to play for Australia after his 12-month ban.

“In the back of my mind I suppose there is a tiny ray of hope that I may one day be given the privilege of playing for my country again, but I am resigned to the fact that that may never happen,” Warner said. “In the coming weeks and months, I’m going to look at how this happened and who I am as a man. I will seek out advice and expertise to help me make serious changes.”

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