Her last hope for an Olympic berth might be over after the denial of a wildcard, but star Indian woman boxer M C Mary Kom on Thursday said she would not hang up her gloves just yet.
The 33-year-old five-time world champion could not make the cut for Rio via the two qualifiers and last-ditch attempts by the Indian Olympic Association and the ad-hoc committee administering boxing in India to fetch her a wildcard entry also fell through after the IOC declined the request.
Mary Kom told PTI from Imphal:
I have been duly informed that I won't be getting a wildcard for the Olympics. It is heartbreaking but it is something which I had no control on. I have to accept this decision but I am not quitting the sport right now. I will continue to compete till I am feeling fit and for the time being I think I am fit.
After this, the IOA and the ad-hoc committee approached the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for a Tripartite Commission Invitation Place, which happened to be just one in her category.
"The ad-hoc committee has had a word with AIBA President Dr Ching Kuo Wu. It was always going to be tough to get a wildcard," she said.
The Manipuri was eyeing a swansong Olympic appearance at Rio before calling it quits but has changed her mind at least for the time being.
"I am aware that retirement is something that would be talked about a lot but for the time being I have dropped the idea. Of course I would be spending more time at my academy training young kids but I will continue to devote as much time to my training as well," Mary Kom said.
Without doubt the biggest name in Indian women's boxing, Mary Kom has been a much celebrated name internationally as well. The diminutive boxer was dubbed 'Magnificent Mary' by the AIBA after she claimed a historic fifth world title.
She was most recently named one of the eight ambassadors of the World Championships, where she could progress only till the second round.
"There are no competitions apart from Olympics this year. So I have a lot of time at hand to think and reflect. I will see how things go. It will all depend on my fitness, I feel fit right now. If I continue to feel the same way,I would continue for some time," she said.
"I am not feeling good about how things have panned out but I am sure future is good for me," she added.