Who’s going to be India’s representative in the 51kg category boxing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers next year? Sports fans have been wondering the same for some time now. Youngster Nikhat Zareen on Tuesday again demanded a fair Olympic selection trials against six-time women’s world boxing champion MC Mary Kom since their clash match in the Indian Boxing League was cancelled. Should another trial happen, she asked the national federation (BFI) to live telecast the fight after her much-awaited showdown.
In the Olympic trials, three spots are already secured, making Nikhat’s chances of securing the fourth and final place much tougher. She was looking forward to play fare and settle this conundrum once and for all in the IBL bout against Mary Kom on Tuesday but now the fight is not happening. hence, she has demanded a fair decision from the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) at the trial scheduled for December 27 and 28 here.
“I was looking forward to the bout with Mary Kom but unfortunately it’s not happening today. So I have to fight the reserve boxer — Darshana Dutt. I was all ready for this bout but at the last moment I got to know that she is not playing,” a disappointed Nikhat said. She was assured a spot by the BFI if she beat Mary Kom on Tuesday.
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.
- Star boxer Mary Kom was getting the privilege of a direct entry into the Olympics Qualifiers. But 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.
- Before cancelling IBL bout, earlier, BFI also cancelled trials in Mary Kom’s category for the World Boxing Championships which led to a big controversy.
- Their next fight will be taken place scheduled for December 27 and 28.
- The Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers are scheduled to be held in Wuhan from 3-14 February 2020.
Nikhat wants to showcase her boxing skills
“It was an opportunity for me to showcase my boxing skills, people could know that Nikhat Zareen is there and she has challenged Mary Kom. I wanted to play the league just because everyone would have seen the bout on TV and know me. Now I have to prepare for the trails but I want the trials to be televised live on TV and not in close doors so that people can know what happened in the bout,” she added.
When asked that the trails will be videographed by the federation, Nikhat said, “Yes, it will be videographed but it will be under BFI’s custody. I am not worried but still someone where down the line there remains a doubt whether it will be a fair decision. Being a boxer and after going through such troubles you can’t easily trust anyone.”
“I am bit worried whether the decision will be fair or not so that’s why I want the trails should be televised live or there is live streaming so that everyone can know how fair decision was it,” she said.
Nikhat skipped nationals to play the IBL
According to Nikhat, she couldn’t participate in the nationals as the BFI wanted her to play the IBL. “BFI wanted me to play the league so I didn’t play the nationals and that’s why I am right now the fourth choice boxer for the trails in 51kg. I was told by the BFI to play the league,” said Nikhat, who is the skipper of North East Rhinos franchise.
Nikhat said such uncertainties affect an athlete’s preparation. “I got a mail from BFI stating that my and Mary Kom’s trial will happen. Then they said that Nikhat will have to fight and win against Mary Kom in the league to get the fourth spot in the trials,” she claimed.
“This of course affects my preparations. I just want the authorities to show me a clear path. If they say that your trails will be on that day then I can focus on that. But in between you say that you have to perform well in IBL, then only we will think about whether to give you the fourth spot in the trails or not is not fair.”
Feature Image Credit: BFI_official