It seems the 6-time world boxing champion MC Mary Kom will have to face the emerging boxer Nikhat Zareen to book her place for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers in the 51 kg category. It has been reported that the selection trial is likely to be held in December.
Reports suggest that the decision has already been conveyed to Ajay Singh, the president of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and it will be conveyed to the concerned boxers soon.
Soon after the conclusion of World Championships in Russia, where Mary Kom won a Bronze after losing her bout in the quarters, Nikhat Zareen had written to the Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju requesting a fair opportunity.
Nikhat had accused BFI of tweaking the rule as the BFI was planning to send Mary Kom for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification event without holding the trials.
It is to be noted here that prior to the team’s departure for the World Championships, BFI had announced that only those women pugilists would be sent directly to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification event who would finish with a gold or a silver.
BFI had further mentioned that women boxers who would a bronze would have to face trials. But, the BFI president, soon after the conclusion of World Championship, urged the selection panel to allow direct entry of the Bronze medalist Mary Kom into the Tokyo Olympics qualification event.
After Singh’s statement was out, Nikhat wrote an open letter to the Sports Minister demanding him to step into the matter and help her get a fair chance.
Although, the sports minister said he did not have the right to speak in selection process. but had assured Nikhat that he would speak to BFI and would ask them to take a decision that is in favor of the country and the players.