IGCSE English (First Language): Specimen Questions with Answers 5 - 5 of 179


Read the Passage A carefully, and then answer

The following is an excerpt from M. C. Mary Kom’s autobiography ‘Unbreakable’.

Soon after the Bangkok championship, I was selected in the 48kg category for the International Boxing Association (originally the Association International de Boxe Amateur, or the AIBA) World Women’s Boxing Championships in Pennsylvania, USA, in November–December 2,001.

My father managed to collect only ₹ 2,000 for my trip. I was both upset and very worried because I’d heard of how expensive things were in America. I spoke to Onler, one of my friends, about my problem. He invited a few students and elders, who went to meet the two Members of Parliament and seek their help. Two MPs donated ₹ 5,000 and ₹ 3,000 respectively and I suddenly had ₹ 10,000 in my hands. With this princely sum, an. I was relieved to have money in my pocket, and knew that I could not come back empty-handed after all the efforts that people had made on my behalf.

Pennsylvania was cold and beautiful. It had been morning when I left, and here it was morning again. After weighing in, I found out that I did not have any match that day. I was fortunate, but some of the team-mates were not so lucky. I was able to rest well enough to face my opponent in the round, which I won comfortably. My fear of facing new opponents quickly vanished.

I competed in the 48 kg in this championship. While team-mates lost one after the other, I went on to reach the finals. I was even hopeful of winning the gold. The boxers were not unbeatable as I had earlier thought.

I felt like this would be the place, the event that would change my life. I kept telling myself, “I can face anyone in the ring. ” In the quarter–final, I defeated Nadia Hokmi of Poland by RSC (Referee Stopped Contest–applicable if the referee feels one of the boxers is inferior to the other and risks getting hurt badly) , and in the semi-final, I defeated Jamie Behal of Canada by 21 - 9. I reached the finals, but lost to Hula Sahin of Turkey by 13 - 5.

The greatest disadvantage for me was my loss of appetite. I was not accustomed to the food there. Try as I might, I could not eat the food and I started to lose weight. So much so that just before the finals I was only 46 kg. This is probably what cost me my dream of winning gold and I was very disappointed. I went to my room and cried. But the coaches were kind; they consoled me and lauded me on the silver win. I was the only one in the team to get a medal. But the biggest thing I took away from this championship was the conviction that I could take on any boxer. I back to Imphal where I got a warm welcome with festival of lights.

The silver in Pennsylvania and the prize money from the government had put an end to my immediate financial worries. But I wanted a job too also, around the time that I was getting married, I had no savings except a couple of life insurance policies. After my second World Championship gold, the Manipur government offered me the post of Sub-Inspector, which I accepted in 2,005. I earned a salary of ₹ 15,000 in that first job go to office when necessary.

My medal haul continued after my marriage, putting an end to speculation among my family and friends around that particular topic. I retained the world title in the Third World Women’s Boxing Championships at Podolsk in Russia, in 2,005. Sarita, who had won the bronze, and I were given a hero’s welcome at the Imphal airport. We were taken to the Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre, where a grand reception was organized. I’d had a good run from 2,001 to 2,004. I won several golds: all the Senior Women’s Boxing Championships; the 2nd Women’s Boxing Championships, 2,002; the 2nd Asian Women’s Boxing Championships at Hisar in 2,003; and the Witch Cup Boxing Championships at Paes, Hungary. In spite of this, when I got married, everybody was doubtful that my medal hauls would continue.

But after the wedding, I participated in and won a gold in the Third and Fourth World Women’s Boxing Championships in October 2,005 and November 2,006. There were a number of other international level championships, in Taiwan, Vietnam, Denmark and so on. But it was retaining my world title in 2,006 by defeating Steluta Duta of Romania 22 - 7 at the Fourth World Championships in New Delhi that I consider one of my greatest achievements. It is probably the most memorable for me because I was able to win at home. The other Indian boxers also performed exceptionally well. India won four golds, one silver and three bronzes, and our team won the overall title. With this hat-trick of World Championship wins, the media christened me ‘Queen of Boxing’ and ‘Magnificent Mary’.

Answer the following two questions based on the passages: (10)

Question 5 (2 of 3 Based on Passage)


Describe in Detail


Write paragraphs based on the following description based on the passage in your own.

Trace the evidences from Mary Kom’s life as the lack of adequate financial resources and sponsorships often affect sportspersons.


The lack of adequate financial resources and sponsorships often affect sportspersons:

  • Mary Kom, an Indian boxer, was selected in the 48 kg category for the International Boxing Association, World Women’s Boxing Championships in Pennsylvania, USA, in November - December 2,001.
  • Mary Kom’s father could raise only ₹ 2000/-. Her friends went to meet two MPs and they donated her ₹ 8000. In this way Mary was able to get enough money for her flight. She came back with a silver medal from the US.

  • But she was not happy over this. She determined to get gold for India. The silver in Pennsylvania and prize money from the government had put an end to her immediate financial worries. But she wanted a job since it would provide a steady and security income.

  • When she was getting married she had no savings except a couple of life insurance policies. In 2,005, Manipur government offered her a sub inspector job. Subsequently she got rid of her financial problems.