Nikhat Zareen was on Saturday was named in the 51kg weight category for the trials among the Indian women boxers who will participate in the two-day trials scheduled for the Olympic qualifiers to be held at the Indira Gandhi Stadium from December 27. After the selection committee meeting, Nikhat from Telengana was handed the fourth spot in the 51 kg category which already has the six-time World Champion MC Mary Kom, RSPB’s Jyoti Gulia and Haryana’s Ritu Grewal as other contenders.
Mary Kom has been ranked one, Nikhat was given a second ranking, while Jyoti and Ritu have been ranked third and fourth respectively. According to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), boxers ranked 1 and 4 will fight and boxers ranked 2 and 3 will play against each other.
“The winners of each bout will make it to the final trial match and the winners here in each of the 5 categories will then be selected to be part of the Indian Team to participate in the Olympic Qualifiers – Asia & Oceania in Wuhan from February 3-14, 2020,” BFI said in a release.
Given the criteria, Nikhat will take on Jyoti, while Mary Kom will face Ritu with the winner of the two bouts set to face-off in a final trial match which will decide who makes it to the Indian team for the Olympic qualifiers.
Nikhat has been demanding a trial with Mary Kom for long and was set to face the Manipuri boxer in the Big Bout League. But citing a back injury, Mary Kom had pulled out of the bout in the eleventh hour. A frustrated Nikhat then demanded a fair Olympic selection trials and asked the national federation to telecast the fight live.
In other weight categories, Sonia (RSPB) will lock horns with former World championship silver-medallist Sonia Lather (RSPB), while Sakshi (Haryana) clashes with Manisha (Haryana) in 57kg.
In 60kg, former World champion L Sarita Devi (AIP) has been pitted against Shashi Chopra (Haryana) and Simranjit Kaur (Punjab) is set to fight Pavitra (RSPB).
In 69kg, two-time world championship bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain (Assam) will face Anjali (Delhi), while Lalita (Rajasthan) takes on Meena Rani (RSPB).
In 75kg, Asian Games bronze medallist Pooja Rani will square off against Indraja KA from Kerela, while former world championship silver medallist Saweety Boora takes on Nupur in an all-Haryana bout.
Among men boxers, Vikash Krishan, who returned to the amateur fold after a stint in professional boxing by winning gold at South Asian Games, will also appear in the trials. The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist will face Ashish, while Naveen Bora will lock horns with Duryodhan Singh Negi in 69kg.
In 57 kg, Kavinder Singh Bisht, a silver medallist at the 2019 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships, will meet 2018 CWG gold-medallist Gaurav Solanki, while 2018 CWG bronze medallist Md Hussamudin will take on Sachin.
In 81kg, Rajasthan’s Brijesh Yadav, Sachin Kumar of SSCB were named along with Sumit Sangwan, who will get a shot in the trials if he is cleared by NADA of doping charges. 2017 Asian Championship silver medallist Sumit had failed a dope test early this month.
In 75kg, Himachal Pradesh’s Ashish Kumar will face off Ankit Khatana of Haryana for a place in the team.
In 91kg, RSPB’s Naman Tanwar, Haryana’s Naveen and SSCB’s Gaurav Chauhan have been named, while Satish Kumar and Narender — both from SSCB — will fight in 91+kg category.