Western Bureau:A second-year medical student from Kenya and a Jamaica public service employee took top honours in the second running of the Black River 5K Run/Walk race on Sunday.Edgar Muganzi strolled away with the top male award after crossing the finish line in 18 minutes 30.18 seconds, while the top female prize went to Juliet Reeves, who stopped the clock in a respectable 27:49.26.Muganzi said after his race that he was delighted to have finished first in his inaugural attempt.”This was a beautiful course. I had no problems with it, and I am very happy to win here,” he said.”I am just so happy to perform and add my part in raising funds for the treatment of cancer,” Muganzi added.Eighty-seven runners and walkers took part in the event, an almost 50 per cent increase in registration over last year, and a pleased David Morris, president of the Black River chapter of the St Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, stated as much.”I am of the impression that this was a great event, but we put in a real effort to get the word out, and it’s definitely much improved from last year. It’s a growing event that we are proud to be part of,” Morris said.Part proceeds from the event will go towards assisting the Black River branch of the Jamaica Cancer Society.Muganzi was chased across the line by Marcell Stewart in 18:57.65, while Anthony Danvern was third.In the women’s section, first-time entrant Reeves of Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, won ahead of Elinor Daniel, 28:15.04, and Kadian Myers, 36:08.08.Carl Barrett took care of business in the men’s walk, posting 37:16.39. Jon Pierre Cavannah was second with Anthony Graham in third.Cecile Barrett was the female walk winner, with Marsha Alexander taking second, just in front of Janette Kaloo.
Professional boxing has made rapid strides in India after Vijender Singh’s sensational run in the circuit but legendary woman boxer MC Mary Kom feels it is not her cup of tea.Vijender, who is an Olympic bronze medallist, forayed into professional boxing last year and has since created ripples by remaining unbeaten in his six bouts so far.Vijender will now contest for the World Boxing Organisation’s (WBO) Asia title in front of his home crowd in New Delhi on June 11.NO TO PRO BOXINGHowever, Mary Kom, who is herself a five-time World Champion and a bronze medallist at the London Olympics 2012, ruled out foraying into professional boxing, saying it is “very difficult”.”Pro boxing is very difficult. It’s not an option for me. In India, the quality of competition is not there for me to take the plunge,” she said.Heading into the World Championships in Asthana, Mary Kom has promised to double the aggression in her attempt to book a ticket for her last Olympic appearance at Rio.”Let’s see how this World Championship goes, I am one of the ambassadors of the tournament so I hope this will be an advantage for me. I don’t mind the disadvantage either because I will do my best from my side whether I qualify or not,” said the Manipuri.’DISADVANTAGE FOR INDIA’Mary Kom said the absence of any Indian representation among referees and judges at the World Championships will be a disadvantage. The reason is the absence of a national federation.advertisement”Officially there is no representation, so that plays on the mind. Even if we perform, we might end up on the losing side because there is no official to take up our case.”Sometimes we feel very scared that who will support us. The countries which have proper federations protest strongly when they feel things have not been fair but we can’t, there is no support,” she lamented.’TOUGHEST TIME FOR INDIAN BOXING'”This is the toughest time Indian boxing is going through. Only one boy (Shiva Thapa) has qualified so far. That speaks for itself. There is one more qualifier left (for men) but how many will qualify from there. Last time we were eight of us at the Olympics,” she pointed out.To ensure that these ‘disadvantages’ have a minimum bearing on her results, Mary Kom said she has worked on her reflexes. The mother-of-three said it was an important area to improve as she would be dealing with younger and swifter rivals in Astana.ROAD TO RIOThe veteran would need to make at least the semi-finals to book a berth to Rio, which would be her second successive and last Olympic appearance if she makes the cut.”The basics of how I fight have not changed because it is difficult to alter your original style but I have been trying to improve endurance, speed. I have worked on how to attack faster. I used to be very attacking and I have tried to regain that with the help of my coaches,” she explained.”This time, I have tried to go back to that old style of attacking more and if the opponent is attacking, then I have worked on my reflexes to ensure that I can match the pace. I have worked on shifting gears. I have this ability of catching fast opponents, I have worked hard to improve my reaction time,” she said.’NOTHING TO PROVE’Mary Kom said there is very little left to prove for her even though the never-ending questions on whether she can do it again do rankle.”It is hurtful sometimes and makes me wonder whether I would qualify or not,” she said.(With PTI inputs)