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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Mary Kom to face Nikhat Zareen in Olympics selection trial in December: Report

Citing sources from Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and Sports Authority of India (SAI), the report from TOI adds that the decision of the bout has been conveyed to BFI President Ajay Singh.

other-sports Updated: Nov 09, 2019 16:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nikhat Zareen and Mary Kom in action.
Nikhat Zareen and Mary Kom in action.(File/HT Collage)
         

Nikhat Zareen, who launched a verbal war with six-time World Champion Mary Kom last month, is reportedly set to get her wishes fulfilled. According to a report by Times of India, Nikhat is set to square off against Mary Kom in the last week of December to decide India’s representation in the 51kg category for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers, which are set to take place in Wuhan, China between February 3, 2020 to February 14, 2020.

Citing sources from Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and Sports Authority of India (SAI), the report adds that the decision of the bout has been conveyed to BFI President Ajay Singh, and will soon be notified to the boxers. It further says that Lovlina Borgohain, who clinched a bronze medal in her maiden World Championships, will also have to appear for a trial in the 69kg category.

As per the report, the decision was taken during a meeting on Thursday, which was attended by BFI officebeares, SAI officials, a sports ministry official and two foreign coaches Raffaele Bergamasco and Santiago Nieva.

“We have stuck to our rules. There won’t be any going back on it and everything is now clear, no confusion at all. The trial will preferably happen after the Indian Boxing League (IBL), which is scheduled from December 2 to 21, 2019,” a source was quoted as saying to TOI.

Last month, Zareen had written to sports minister Kiren Rijiju and requested him to look into the issue of Boxing Federation of India (BFI) tweaking its selection rules and deciding to not hold selection trials in 51kg for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification event. The BFI had initially said that among women only gold and silver medallists from the Worlds will get an automatic berth for the Olympics qualifier in February. But later BFI president Ajay Singh said the selection panel should consider exempting bronze medallists, including Mary Kom in 51kg, from trials.

In an interview to Republic TV, Mary Kom said: “Who is Nikhat Zareen,I don’t know her.” She further added that she is shocked by the controversy. “I am really shocked by all this. I have won eight World Championship medals, including six gold. Let the Boxing Federation of India decide whom they want. How can she cry like this? She cannot lobby to get a place in the Indian team. This is not done,” she said.