We couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate National Sports Day when the cherry on the top news flooded in with ace Indian boxer, Mary Kom being conferred the honour of being the 'Best Asian Athlete(Female)'. In the inaugural edition of the 'Awards for Asia' ceremony organized by the Asian Sportswriters Union (AIPS Asia), held in Kuala Lumpur on the 29th of August, 2019, Mary Kom and South Korean football player Son Heung-Min were given the titles of being the Best Asian Athletes, female and male respectively.
The Chief Minister of Selangor, YAB Tuan Haji Amirudin Shari, gave away the winning trophies to the winners’ representatives. Due to Kom being absent, the reputed sports journalist Subodh Malla Barua accepted the award on behalf of the Manipuri girl. Mary Kom, needless to say, has been an outstanding figure of resilience and has inspired countless people with her obstinacy and her hunger for glory. The AIPS Asia, which was formed in 1978 consists of Asian sportswriters but this kind of an awards ceremony was being held for the first time to honor the excellent breed of athletes this continent has produced.
By conferring the title of 'Best Asian Athlete', the AIPS Asia could not have found a better recipient than the phenomenal Mary Kom. The 36-year old flyweight boxer is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in seven World Championships – the most recent of which was a gold medal in November 2018. Still impatient for more, Kom is itching to get her hands on a seventh World Championships gold medal in the AIBA World Boxing Championships which is due to begin on September 7. This time she is going to compete in the 51kg flyweight category instead of her usual 48kg, in keeping with her chosen weight category for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. If Kom manages to achieve this remarkable feat, she will surpass the Cuban legend Felix Savon.
The other awardees for the day saw the Qatar Football Team (Male) and the Japanese Football Team (Female) bagging the titles of 'Best Asian Team'. Whilst the Qatar Team has already qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Japanese women's football team happen to be the 2011 World Cup Champions and runners-up of the 2015 edition.