Three boxers move to Delhi HC following exclusion from 2019 World Championship team
Reigning national champions Manju Rani, Shiksha Narwal, and Poonam Poonia, who were excluded from the Indian squad for the 2019 Boxing World Championships, took the national federation, Boxing Federation of India, to the Delhi High Court on Monday to request its assistance in including them.
Their writ petition has been approved by the Delhi High Court, and the case will be heard on Tuesday. The three boxers claimed in their writ case that they were not chosen among the gold medalists at the national championships held in December 2022 in Bhopal. The petitioners said that they had asked the appropriate authorities to take their names into consideration for the women's world championship but that they had received no positive responses.
"When the nine other boxers (who won the nationals) got direct qualification then why haven't we three from Railways got it," Manju, who earned a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships, questioned during an interview with PTI.
She said, "We wrote to the BFI and haven't got a reply from them as yet." The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) says the selection of the team did not take the Nationals gold medal into consideration.
Manju (48 kg), Shiksha (54 kg), and Poonam (60 kg) were unable to join the 12-member side when the national squad was chosen under the revised selection process for the men's and women's World Championships and the Asian Games.
The boxers undertook a three-week evaluation procedure in accordance with the new policy, which was created in cooperation with High Performance Director (HPD) Bernard Dunne.
In the first week, "athletes were assessed for technical and tactical abilities during sparring sessions," while in the second and third weeks, "athletes were tested for performance in training to include endurance and S&C."
The boxers were ranked after being marked by the HPD, Bhaskar Bhatt, and CA Kuttapa, the men's and women's teams' respective head coaches. Nine of the top 12 national winners made it into the main competition and were rated one.
At the assessment exam, Manju (564), Shiksha (573) and Poonam (567) placed last, while Commonwealth Games winner Nitu Ghangas (634), Preeti (623) and CWG bronze medalist Jaismine Lamboria (612) placed first.
"We made sure all boxers know about the new selection policy, it's there on the website as well. They knew about the evaluation as well in the camp. "We even told them in Hindi the criteria and the process," BFI secretary Hemanta Kalita told PTI.
"They are saying we won in nationals but the criteria has changed, a boxer has to be evaluated irrespective now. "And if they had a problem with the policy they should have said it one day 1 that 'we won't follow this'," he added.
Manju said when asked if they were aware of the evaluation procedure: "We were told about the assessment during the camp but while sparring etc we were not told we are being judged at that moment."
"Some of the girls who have been selected didn't even compete in the nationals, so what was the point of conducting the nationals," she continued, alluding to Nitu. Before to all major competitions, BFI organised tryouts to choose national teams.