Yadav, who has been coaching Mary Kom for the past four years, has been busy preparing an online schedule for the women boxers during the lockdown. He also makes sure the plan is followed properly.
“It isn’t easy to monitor the boxers online, so I am pushing for more number of repetitions than more weight during strength training. It is important to keep the boxers injury free during this period,” Yadav told TOI after one of his online sessions on Saturday.
“I have to monitor each session for the young girls. But it is different for Mary. I just have to give her the plan and she takes care of it,” the Yadav, 32, said.
“She may be the oldest, but she is still the most dedicated boxer we have. And it is not just about dedication, Mary is faster than even the teenagers we have in the team.”
Mary has clinched a berth for Tokyo Games, however the Olympics have been postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 spread. The postpone means Mary will be 38 when she participates in Tokyo.
For coach Yadav, Mary’s age is not even a concern.
“Age has nothing to do with Mary’s chances at Tokyo. You don’t get to see athletes like her every day. Mary has promised herself a medal at Tokyo and the postponement of the Games will only increase her hunger to fulfill the promise. I see it as a positive as the way she has been training these days, the one-year gap will only make her stronger by the time the Olympics are held,” the former 57-kg national champion said.
The coach’s confidence in Mary has come from watching her closely since 2015.
“I remember, in 2016, Mary lost in the semifinals of the Rio qualifying meet in China. She cried a lot after the bout. The way she cried, I was sure that Mary would leave boxing after that. But next morning at six, she knocked at my door and called me for training. I was stunned to see her all geared to train as if nothing had happened. It taught me that Mary had lost the bout, but had not conceded defeat in her mind. Losses only make her angry and hungrier to do better,” the AIBA certified coach said.
The coach says Mary doesn’t forget her losses and doesn’t want to celebrate her wins for too long.
“She won gold at the Asian Championships in 2017, it was a big medal after a dry patch. Other athletes celebrate their big wins by taking a break for some days. But having known her by now, I was ready at 6 am the next morning and there she was, ready to train as usual.”
The Manipur boxer has already won six World Championships and five Asian Championships gold, along with an Olympics bronze in 2012. What more is she thriving for?
“To change the colour of her Olympics medal,” Yadav said.