2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Arjuna awardee Akhil Kumar believes the "denial" of a final berth in World Boxing Championship may just catapult Mary Kom's quest for an Olympic gold in Tokyo next year.
"Forget this foul play. I have not seen the video so can't say who won & who lost but if someone of the level of Mary Kom is saying that she had won then we must respect her version. I just feel that her strong feelings might just catapult her quest for glory in Tokyo Olympics. If any Indian boxer wins a gold in Tokyo Games it will be Mary Kom," Akhil Kumar told Republic TV in an exclusive interview in Gurgaon on Saturday.
Akhil was of the opinion that there was no need to attach too much importance to a loss in the World Championship semi-finals. "She has still won the bronze. That's a record 8th medal. Now nothing much can be done as the rules are very clear. I don't see any conspiracy or cheating in this but if there was a wrong decision given then I really feel for Mary. She will come back even stronger. A lot of steam still left in her. I won't be surprised if she signs off with a gold medal," he added.
Congratulating the entire contingent, Akhil said it was 'golden period' of Indian women boxing and the Mary Kom was indeed the 'Kohinoor' of this era.
"I also congratulate Jamuna Boro and Lovlina for winning bronze medals and wish all the best to Manju Rani for Sunday's final. What to say about Mary Kom. She has won an unbelievable 8th medal in World Championship. Undoubtedly, she is one of the greatest Indian boxers ever," he added.
He also pointed out that Indian men boxers are also doing very well winning two medals -- Amit Panghal (silver) and Manish Kaushik (bronze) in the men's World Championship last month.