Sachin and others hail Queen Mary
Cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar is among the famous personalities who have paid tribute to Indian boxer Mary Kom.
Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and India’s sports minister Ajay Maken have also congratulated the tiny boxer from the north-eastern state Manipur after she won a bronze medal at the London Olympic Games.
“Mighty Mary”, a mother of twins, took up sport as a path out of poverty. On Thursday she was feted as India's latest sporting hero.
Kom, 29, had to settle for bronze after she was beaten 11-6 by Britain's Nicola Adams in the quarterfinals of the 51kg category on Wednesday.
She had won five world titles in the 46kg and 48kg categories, but had to move up a division to fight in London, where flyweight was the lightest class in the first Olympic Games boxing tournament for women.
Tendulkar tweeted: "Mary Kom is an amazing woman. What an effort to win a medal for India. We all are extremely proud of you."
Maken wrote on Twitter: "Mary Kom playing in a higher weight category, played well but lost to a taller/younger/stronger player. Olympic bronze is also a big achievement."
"My great honour and privilege to have spoken to Mary Kom earlier today on the phone," Bachchan tweeted. "What a lady!! You have made all of India proud!"
Kom's medal ensured India’s team will return from London with their biggest Olympic haul, surpassing the one gold and two bronzes they won in Beijing four years ago.
India has so far won a silver through pistol shooter Vijay Kumar and three bronze medals by badminton star Saina Nehwal, rifle marksman Gagan Narang and Kom.
The Indian news media, whose sports coverage is normally focused on cricket, hailed Kom's achievement on the front pages.
The Indian Express said she won a "bravery medal in guise of an Olympic bronze" and the Hindustan Times headlined its report "Mary loses, wins hearts and bronze."
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a message to Kom, said: "Our medallists have done us proud during these Olympic Games. I hope their achievements will spur a new generation of sportsmen."