Who’s going to be India’s representative in the 51kg category for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers next year? Well, we will find it out after the official trial between six-time women’s world boxing champion MC Mary Kom and youngster Nikhat Zareen. The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has finally taken the decision after a meeting involving officials of the BFI, SAI, officials from Sports Ministry and the foreign coaches, Raffaele Bergamasco and Santiago Nieva. “We have stuck to our rules. There won’t be any going back on it and everything is now clear, no confusion at all. The trial will preferably happen after the Indian Boxing League (IBL), which is scheduled from December 2 to 21, 2019,” a source told TOI.

23-year-old Nikhat Zareen will face off Mary Kom, 36, in the 51kg category for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers birth, in last week of December.

This bout will mark the end of a month-long controversy since Nikhat, who competes in the 51kg category same as Mary Kom, had written to the BFI demanding an explanation for their decision of not allowing her a trial for entry into the Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Star boxer Mary Kom was getting the privilege of a direct entry into the Olympics Qualifiers. Nikhat Zareen believed a fair trial is necessary.
  • So, the BFI officials decided on a trial between the two which would decide India’s representation in the 51kg category for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers.
  • Earlier, BFI cancelled trials in Mary Kom’s category for the World Boxing Championships which led to a big controversy.
  • The Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers are scheduled to be held in Wuhan from 3-14 February 2020. 

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“We have stuck to our rules. There won’t be any going back on it and everything is now clear, no confusion at all. The trial will preferably happen after the Indian Boxing League (IBL), which is scheduled from December 2 to 21, 2019,” a source informed.

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. Nikhat called it unfair move since Kom only earned a bronze but was getting the privilege of a direct entry into the Olympics Qualifiers without a trial. She claimed the rules were being bent and wished to enter the ring to fight a fair trial against Kom.

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.

“There’s an interesting point. Bergamasco told the gathering that Mary Kom never had a problem giving a trial against Zareen and all this drama happened following the BFI president’s statement. Mary Kom started backing his statement. In fact, coaches stated that they were always in favour of a trial,” a source was quoted as saying by TOI.

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Feature Image Credit:  BFI_official

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