The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is planning to organise a trial between legendary boxer MC Mary Kom and youngster Nikhat Zareen for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 qualifiers in December. The report comes after a war of words between the two boxers who are vying to represent India in the 51kg category next year in Tokyo.
Zareen, a former junior world champion, has demanded a trial writing to Sports Minister Kirren Rijiju after Mary Kom was preferred for the recent women’s world boxing championships in Russia. Mary Kom returned with a bronze- her eighth medal from the event.
There were reports that BFI was planning to send Mary Kom for the Olympic qualifiers in China next year after the veteran’s bronze-medal at the worlds. This was after the federation’s earlier decision to allow direct entry only to those returning with either gold or silver medals from the competition.
“The selection policy was drafted after a detailed discussion with everyone on board, including the president and his office team,” The Times of India quoted a BFI source as saying on Thursday. “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.”
“Look, 10 brains came together while framing the rules for selection policy, including the two highly-qualified foreign coaches. Every detail was worked out minutely and nobody was left behind during the consultation. Performance, experience, youth and overall technical aspect, everything was considered…. 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 report further quoted a source as saying.
The trial will be conducted at the women’s Nationals in December and whoever wins will be selected for the qualifiers.