Nikhat Zareen, who competes in the 51kg category same as Mary Kom, has written to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) demanding an explanation for their decision of not allowing her a trial for entry into the Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers. Now, the 23-year-old can prepare for a face-off with six-time world champion Mary Kom in December this year. This trial would decide India’s representation in the 51kg category for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers next year, TOI reported.
According to sources, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) selection committee members want a trial between the Mary (36) and Nikhat (23). The further decision will be decided by BFI chief Ajay Singh next week in Delhi. “The selection policy was drafted after a detailed discussion with everyone on board, including the president and his office team. It’s not about convincing the president, but conveying the decision to him that everyone has unanimously decided to conduct a trial, and that the rule can’t be changed,” a top BFI source informed.
“If Mary Kom beats Nikhat hands down, then she will be the chosen one. Same goes for Nikhat. In case there’s a close fight, then certain factors will be taken into account before naming the selected boxer,” said the official
- Star boxer Mary Kom was getting the privilege of a direct entry into the Olympics Qualifiers. Nikhat Zareen believes a fair trial is necessary
- So, the BFI officials decided a trial between the two which would decide India’s representation in the 51kg category for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers next year
- Earlier, BFI cancelled trials in Mary Kom’s category for the World Boxing Championships which led to a bigger controversy
- The Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers is scheduled to be held in Wuhan from 3-14 February 2020. Nikhat Zareen called this out in a letter to the BFI. She called the selection process biased
It was earlier decided that only the gold and silver medallists at the recently concluded Women’s World Boxing Championships would be allowed to advance to the Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers — without a trial. This is scheduled to be held in Wuhan from 3-14 February 2020. Zareen called it unfair move since even though Kom only earned a bronze but was getting the privilege of a direct entry into the Olympics Qualifiers without a trial. So Zareen now claims the rules are biased and wishes to enter the ring to fight a fair trial against Kom.
“Look, 10 brains came together while framing the selection policy, including the two foreign coaches. Every detail was worked out minutely and nobody was left behind during the consultation. Performance, experience and overall technical aspect, everything was considered. The meeting was held in the president’s office and everything was told to him. Minutes of the meeting were noted down and circulated to everyone, including him. After getting approval from all the quarters, including the BFI chief, the selection rules were framed. Now, suddenly we can’t go back on our word. The trial will happen after the women’s Nationals (December 2 to 8),” said a BFI source.
Feature Image Credit: BFI_official