MC Mary Kom in action at the Women's World Boxing Championships
Five time world champion MC Mary Kom's dream of winning the first ever gold in women's boxing at the Asian Games has been shattered.
She lost to China's Ren Cancan 11-7 in the bantamweight semi-final but claimed the bronze medal as a consolation.
Mary Kom's titles were won as a flyweight and after moving up a weight for the Asian Games she struggled.
"I had to fight taller boxers which made it difficult for me," said the Indian mother of twins.
Mary Kom cruised past Chieh Meng Ping from Taiwan 16-2 in the qualifying round but her semi-final opponent was the larger Ren Cancan, who had won the bantamweight title at this year's AIBA Women's World Championship in Barbados.
"I was fighting in this category for the first time so I didn't have any experience," admitted Mary Kom.
She also blamed the judges for not punishing her opponent when the Chinese fighter appeared to hold her.
Ren started aggressively and built up a 3-1 lead in the first round before Mary Kom narrowed it down to 3-4 in the second.
MC Mary Kom wins her fifth consecutive world title
However the third round was again dominated by the local favourite Ren and she finally won the fight 11-7.
Speaking to the BBC after the bout, Mary Kom said, "I tried my best but my opponent was pushing me down and holding me there so I lost my energy in dealing with that and couldn't go for the left-right combination punches.
"I am satisfied with my performance and also that I won a bronze medal for the first time in the Asian Games but I really wanted to win a gold for my country."
Boxers generally try to lose weight before a bout but to fight in this weight category Mary Kom was required to put on weight.
To prepare for larger opponents, she also trained with one of India's leading male boxers, Suranjoy Singh.
And the Indian sportswoman of the year insisted she was not too disheartened by the loss, stressing that the experience would help in her bid to win gold at the London Olympics.
"It was my first time in this weight category so now I know a bit about her tactics and I will beat her at the Olympics."
Indian national boxing coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu added: "She is a great fighter. I know she will come back and beat her opponent at the Olympics."
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