Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom and Nikhat Zareen stayed on course for a showdown and a ticket to the Olympic Qualifiers, winning their respective bouts during the selection trials at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Friday.
MC Mary Kom and Nikhat Zareen will clash in the 51kg category finals of the women’s boxing trials for next year’s Olympic Qualifiers after claiming unanimous victories in their respective first-round bouts on Friday.
Former junior world champion Zareen defeated reigning national champion Jyoti Gulia while multiple-time Asian champion Mary Kom got the better of Ritu Grewal. The two-day competition will end on Saturday.
The Olympic qualifiers are scheduled to be held in China in February next year.
Zareen had kicked up a storm a few weeks ago by demanding a trial against iconic six-time world champion Mary Kom after the Boxing Federation of India’s flip-flop on the selection policy for the Olympic Qualifiers.
Mary Kom had maintained that she would abide by the selection policy laid down by the BFI, which ultimately decided to have trials.
This was after BFI President Ajay Singh triggered the storm by announcing at a felicitation ceremony that Mary Kom would be selected for the Olympic qualifiers without any trial due to her consistent international performances.
An irate Zareen then demanded a “fair chance” against the celebrated Manipuri, who is also a Rajya Sabha member.