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Women’s boxing squad selection raises eyebrows

other Updated: Nov 13, 2008 00:17 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times
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The Indian Boxing Federation’s selection of the seven-member squad for the Women’s World Championship in China has raised questions as to whether different sets of rules were adopted for different players.

The IBF selected the squad on the basis of the Asian Championships held before the Senior Nationals in Agra. Out of these seven players, three lost in the nationals. While one of them Pavitra (54 kg) was replaced with national champion Sushma, the federation retained loser Chotu Laura (50 kg), and dropped the weight category of the third boxer, Kavita Goyat (66kg). The IBF did not even give a chance to Mandakni Chanu who beat Laura.

"The federation has different selection polices for different boxers. When I defeated Kavita Goyat in the nationals, they should have selected me for the World Championships, much the same way they replaced Pavitra. But they did not want to select me and conveniently dropped my weight category (66kg)," said Netu Chahal, the national champion.

Though India will be defending the title in Ningbo city, the federation decided against sending 13 boxers under different weight categories despite having no problem of clearance from the Sports Ministry.

IBF secretary PKM Raja said that the IBF he had selected only those weight categories in which India had a better chance of winning medals. "We don't want to participate just for the sake of participation," he added.

But then why did the IBF replace the 66kg category with 60kg? "Kavita Goyat didn't perform well in the nationals and that's why we dropped her. We preferred Preeti Beniwal as she is a more experienced boxer at the international level," reasoned Raja.