Reports | BFI hints Mary Kom might not give trials for Olympics Qualifiers

Reports | BFI hints Mary Kom might not give trials for Olympics Qualifiers

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The Boxing Federation of India might repeat what they did early this year concerning Mary Kom’s selection criteria in the Olympics qualifiers as well after president hinted at “no trial” for medal winners in World Championships. The rule has been similar for the men’s selection criteria as well.

After a huge controversy back in August, when Mary Kom was automatically selected for the World Championships without a trial match with her 51 kg adversary Nikhat Zareen, the federation might repeat the same for the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers in Wuhan from February 3 to 14.

BFI President Ajay Singh has signalled that the 36-year-old Manipuri veteran could possibly be their automatic choice for the China event as there could be a “rethink” of rules and regulations for the women events. 

Ahead of the World Championships, BFI had stated that the male boxers would be automatically selected for the Tokyo qualifiers based on the medal winners (gold, silver and bronze). However, for the female pugilists, the medals were restricted only to the gold and silver medallist at the Worlds. However, Singh has gone against it now calling it unfair.

“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,” said Singh, reported TOI.

“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. 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,” he added.

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

Going by this, 68kg category bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain, who secured a bronze medal in the at the Worlds, too, might also be exempted from trials. Both the 51kg and 69kg divisions are Olympic weight categories.

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