Sports

No trials for Mary Kom, hints boxing federation

NEW DELHI, OCT 16 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 10/16/2019 11:49:31 AM IST

Boxing Federation of India (BFI) president, Ajay Singh, on Tuesday suggested that there might be no selection trial between MC Mary Kom and Nikhat Zareen in the 51kg category for participating in the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers in Wuhan from February 3 to 14 and that the 36-year-old Manipuri veteran could possibly be the BFI’s automatic choice for the China event, reported Times of India.

There was big controversy back in August when BFI did not let Nikhat Zareen compete against Mary Kom at the trials for the World Championships, paving the way for Mary Kom to secure selection without even entering the ring.

Singh, speaking to TOI on the sidelines of a felicitation function here for the medal winners from the recent women’s World Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia, informed that there could be a “rethink” of the BFI’s selection rule in the women’s category, which states that only the gold and silver medal winners at the Worlds will receive automatic nomination for the Wuhan qualifiers.

Lovlina Borgohain, who secured her second successive bronze medal in the 69kg category at the Worlds, too, might be exempted from trials. Mary Kom also ended up winning a bronze after losing 1-4 to Turkey’s Busenaz Cakiroglu in a controversial manner. Both the 51kg and 69kg divisions are Olympic weight categories.

Singh said, “We will do whatever is required. There could be a rethink, for sure. We will look at the policy and see who is better prepared at that time to get us a medal at the Olympics. We have no hard and fast rule on this.”

“For me, Mary Kom did exceedingly well at the Worlds. She defied her age and motherhood. In fact, she was a clear winner to me in the semis, which she lost,” he added.

Ahead of the Worlds, BFI had come up with a selection policy for both the men and women boxers. It said all the medal winners (gold, silver and bronze) in the men’s section at the Yekaterinburg Worlds will automatically be selected for the Olympic qualifiers, without having to undergo trials.

However, for the women’s, the criteria only included the gold and silver medallist at the Worlds.

Singh expressed his displeasure at having two separate rules for men and women.

“I am not even completely clear on this. The rules should be same for everyone. As a matter of principle, I will never accept that rules are any different for men and women.”

Singh hinted that there was some lack of communication between his office and the selection committee, inferring that he wasn’t consulted by selectors before framing the rule. “There seems to be some issue of understanding.”

Mary Kom, on her part, said she will go by what the president decides and that she was already looking forward to the Wuhan meet.

“The president is the right person to take all decisions. I’ll go by whatever he says. I am already looking to give my best at the qualifiers. I have been dreaming of competing in Tokyo for last many years and was preparing accordingly,” she told TOI.


-Tags:#Mary Kom

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