19 October 2019: MC Mary Kom who has recently won the Bronze medal in the recently concluded World Boxing Championship has been a driving inspiration for the nascent boxers across the country. Apparently, she has been given a special privilege by the Boxing Federation of India for her journey towards the Tokyo Olympics next year.
The 36-year-old Mary Kom, an Olympic bronze medalist in the London Olympics 2012, has been given an automatic spot in the qualifying competition for Tokyo 2020 by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI). Mary Kom, who crashed out of the World Boxing Championship in the semi-finals finishing with a bronze medal, has found an automatic entry in the Tokyo Olympics qualifying event.
Earlier, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) had announced that as per the rules, the finalists of the recent World Boxing Championships would be selected for the Olympic qualifier to be held in China next year. For others, they had to earn the ticket through rigorous trial events.
However, Mary Kom had to settle down with a bronze medal, also won her eighth medal in total at the Championships. In June, Mary Kom had clarified that she would announce her retirement after the Tokyo Olympics. Even her selection for the event in Russia was embroiled in controversy after the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) exempted her from trials for those championships.
Nikhat Zareen, the 23-years-old flyweight boxer said that Mary Kom should have to go through trials. Zareen had found the support of India’s only individual Olympic gold-medalist and iconic shooter Abhinav Bindra who said Kom’s past achievements should not grant her favorable treatment. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju was quick to respond that the Sports Ministry is not entitled to intervene in selection matters of any national federation, as it is considered a violation of the Olympic Charter. The sports minister also said that he will convey the Nikhat Zareen’s message to the Boxing Federation of India.“I’ll surely convey to Boxing Federation to take the best decision keeping in mind the best interest of the nation, sports & athletes,” he tweeted.
I'll surely convey to Boxing Federation to take the best decision keeping in mind the best interest of the NATION, SPORTS & ATHLETES. Although, Minister should not be involved in the selection of the players by the Sports Federations which are autonomous as per OLYMPIC CHARTER https://t.co/GqIBdtWRMp
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) October 18, 2019
Zareen’s hopes of competing at the Tokyo Olympics will be over if Kom qualifies for China. However, Zareen thanked the minister and said she hoped for an end to “favoritism and nepotism”.