Kom at centre of Indian selection row over Tokyo 2020 boxing qualifer

Nikhat Zareen Demands Bout With Mary Kom Asks For

Reacting on the issue, Mary Kom said that she would abide by what the BFI has decided and said that it would just be a "formality" for her to beat her younger counterpart in the trials.

Zareen had been refused a trial bout earlier than the world championship as effectively after the federation determined to choose Mary Kom on the premise of her gold-winning performances within the India Open and the President's Cup.

Mary Kom might not have won a silver or gold at the World Championships, but neither does she come under the second criteria which requires there to be "no medallist at the AIBA World Championships". It is better to be quiet. And Mary Kom is too big a legend in sport to need to hide from the competition and not actually defend her Olympic qualification.

"I am not scared to face Nikhat Zareen", said boxer MC Mary Kom, responding to the controversy over the trials for the Olympic qualifiers.

Mary Kom had recently participated in the Boxing World Championships at Ulan-Ude in Russian Federation, where she won a bronze medal. Whatever happens in the trial, win or lose, I will accept. Perform on the ring, that is the real thing. "BFI sends us for exposure journeys so comeback with a gold, present yourself", she mentioned.

"While I have all the respect for Mary Kom, fact is, an athlete's life is an offering of proof". She might be good in future, let her have the experience and focus on preparation for the highest level.

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The BFI introduced a point-based selection system a year ago under which boxers are now being picked on the back of their performances in various graded tournaments and the national camps. "We had then also raised our concerns but we were told that rules are different for different tournaments and that trials would be conducted for qualifiers". "To challenge is easy but to perform is hard".

While speaking to media, Rijiju said, "This Women's World Boxing Championships has been the best so far". For the women's competition, however, the BFI in August stated it meant to send directly only the gold and silver medallists. But BFI president Ajay Singh had hinted at tweaking the rule to include all medal winners instead of only gold and silver recipients.

"I maintain now no longer care about all this".

Shooter and coach, Joydeep Karmakar also took to Twitter to express his wish that maybe the great Mary Kom will not let this matter slide by. "There should be gender equality, can't have separate rules for men and women".

Reports in the Indian media have suggested the BFI may hold a meeting next week to discuss selection for the Olympic qualifier following the letter from Zareen. "To my utter dismay, the trial was cancelled and Mary Kom was sent", Zareen said in the statement.

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