After controversial Worlds defeat, Mary Kom calls for transparency in scoring system
Indian boxer Mary Kom was eyeing a historic 7th gold medal at the recently concluded World Boxing Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia. But her hopes were shattered after she lost her 51kg semifinal bout against second-seed Busenaz Cakiroglu of Turkey, due to a controversial 1:4 call by the judges against her. The pugilist was visibly upset after the bout as the Indian contingent launched a review, which was not accepted by AIBA due to a change in rules.
Upon her return to India, Mary Kom spoke to media and expressed her disappointment with the verdict that saw her adding a bronze medal to take her total Worlds medals tally to eight.
“It was horrible what happened after the bout. Everybody who follows boxing, and knows about boxing rules and regulations, know what happened in the fight. If you watch the match, you can see something is not right about the result. I am not happy because I thought I had won.”
The Indian boxers will be keeping an eye on the upcoming Olympic Qualification tournament which is set to take place in February, 2020, in China. On being questioned if something like this happens again in China, the Manipuri boxer said: “This time IOC will conducting and organising the qualification tournament and not AIBA. So I hope a similar incident will not take place.”
Mary further said that she had expressed a desire to make scoring more transparent during an IOC meeting. “I attended the IOC meeting as an athletes’ representative for AIBA. So I had shared my opinion with them and asked for more transparency in points system while judging bouts. Those who deserve should win,” she said.
This was Mary’s first Worlds medal in 51kg category. Her previous seven were in 48 kg. She had to change her weight category to put herself in contention for Olympics 2020, as 48kg category was not included for Tokyo Games. Even though Mary had won her Olympics bronze in 2012 in 51kg category, the competition has changed in the last seven years, and the boxer said the Worlds tournament gave her an insight into what lies ahead of her.
“Before entering the World Championships, my main target was to know the boxers that I will have to face in the weight category and to assess if they are stronger or weaker than me,” she said.
“From my experience, I realised there were some who were really strong, while some were weak. My pre-quarterfinal bout against Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong was particularly tricky since she was strong and, she was attacking. But when some boxer attacks, I do not stand still. I know how to handle inside the ring. I also have a lot of strategies,” she finished off with a smile.