NEW DELHI, Nov 24, (AFP): India’s Mary Kom on Saturday became the most successful female boxer in world championships history after clinching her sixth gold medal in New Delhi.
The 35 year-old beat Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota 5-0 in the final of the 48kg category contest in front of an electric home crowd.
Her sixth gold takes her past Ireland’s Katie Taylor, and level with the men’s record held by Cuban legend Felix Savon as the most successful pugilist ever at the world championships.
The mother of three won a silver in the inaugural women’s edition in 2001 and then went on to win gold in each of the next five championships, with her most recent coming in Bridgetown, Barbados in 2010.
Kom, who was the subject of a Bollywood film in 2014, won bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“Today, I was a little bit emotional because for the last few years, I was not able to fight in 48kg category,” an emotional Kom said after the bout.
“The effort was very challenging for me. Because of your love and support, I hope to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I wasn’t able to qualify for Rio Games. I am still suffering,” she said to the cheering crowds.
Kom, charging from the blue corner, took control of the bout as soon as the starting bell rung.
She had beaten Okhota in a previous clash at the Silesian international boxing championships in Poland in September.
Kom defeated North Korea’s Mi Hyang Kim on Thursday 5-0 to reach the final.