GUWAHATI, May 24 - An emotional L Sarita Devi dedicated her gold medal winning feat in the 2nd India Open International Boxing Tournament to her deceased mother, who passed away in December last year.
�I am very happy to have won the gold as I managed to grab a silver last time. I was under a lot of pressure during the last edition as my mother was suffering from cancer at that time. I lost in the World Championship also which hurt her a lot and by the time I reached it was the last day,� she recalled.
Sarita emerged champion in the 60 kg weight category by defeating compatriot Simranjit Kaur 3-2.
�Whatever I am today it is only because of her and I dedicate this to her. My father passed away when I was quite young and it was my mother who used to always support me. I always wanted to win a gold for her. I have faced a lot of problems but I have always fought back,� Sarita added.
This is the second medal for the 37-year-old boxer from Manipur this year. She had earlier won a bronze at the Asian Championships held at Bangkok in April.
�It is good to be winning my second medal, the first being a bronze at Asian Championships. In this tournament there has been less participation as far as foreign countries are concerned. But it was quite a tough one as the standard of competition has gone really up,� she said.
Sarita had last clinched a gold medal at the South Asian Games in 2016 after returning from the one-year ban handed to her for refusing to accept her bronze medal at the Asian Games in 2014.
�This medal means a lot to me as I have clinched a gold after a long time. I want to give credit to my hard work and thank my family, especially my husband for their continuous support.
�Today�s final was a tough one as she is an experienced and young boxer. But despite my age I managed to win, that gives me immense happiness and confidence as I am looking forward towards Olympic qualification,� she added.
She also praised the efforts of the State government as well as the Assam Amateur Boxing Association for organising boxing events.