New Delhi: ‘Khel Ratna’ awardee boxer Mary Kom, who has already bagged five world titles under her belt, admitted that Asian Cup was the toughest mental test she faced in a long time as she was constantly diverted by the thought of being away from her ill son. Her son underwent heart surgery in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

The mother-of-two from Manipur was India's lone gold-medalist at the event in China but Mary Kom (48kg) has had little time to catch up with even some sleep, let alone celebrate.

"I landed here last night and dashed off to Chandigarh to be with my baby (K Khupneivar) and I am so relieved that the surgery went off well and he is now recuperating in ICU. I have been travelling for two days now. I am totally exhausted," Mary Kom said.

"It was mentally the toughest challenge I have faced in a long time because I was away from my baby and was constantly thinking about him. It is so difficult to focus in the ring when you are faced with a situation like this,” she added.

Mary Kom, a Khel Ratna awardee one of India's medal hopes when women's boxing makes its debut in the London Olympics next year, said having represented the country at allmajor events, missing the Asian Cup would not have been a major issue for her.

"It is a big event, but I could have skipped it because at the end of the day family matters. But finally I went and I am glad that I could win a gold medal. It would forever remain
special for me given the circumstances I was faced with," she said.
    
Even now, Mary Kom, who would compete in the 51kg category in London, would be busy with training for the President's Cup that is scheduled to be held in Turkey inJune-July.

"I will compete in 51kg division in this event. You can say, it's a build-up event ahead of next year's Olympics. This time there won't be any qualifiers for women boxers in the
Olympics. So events such as these would be helping me prepare for London," said Mary.

(Agency)