Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju responds to Nikhat Zareen’s plea to have a trial bout against Mary Kom for Tokyo 2020 selection

Image Courtesy: Instagram(@zareennikhat)/IANS

Nikhat Zareen, the flyweight boxer from Nizamabad took it to the platform of Twitter to request a trial for the 2020 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, in the form of an official letter to Kiren Rijiju , the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, who now has has finally prompted a reply to her petition.a

Image Courtesy: Instagram(@zareennikhat)/IANS

Nikhat, the 23 year old who is currently pursuing a degree in Bachelor of Arts at AV College, wrote a formal tweet along with the official letter to the sports minister, requesting a trial in the 51 kg category against the country’s superstar pugilist MC Mary Kom to have a chance to perform at the Olympic qualifier in Wuhan, China in February 2020.

The 2nd India Open International Boxing Tournament silver medalist tweeted yesterday: “All I want is a fair chance. If I’m not given the opporunity to compete what am I training for. Sports is about Fair Play & I dont want to loose faith in my country. Jai Hind.”

Her post got massive social media attention and support, including the likes of former professional shooter and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra and Olympian Shiva Keshavan, and soon came into Rijiju’s attention.

The Saffron party minister replied to Nikhat’s plea today, stating “I’ll surely convey to Boxing Federation to take the best decision keeping in mind the best interest of the NATION, SPORTS & ATHLETES. Although, Minister should not be involved in the selection of the players by the Sports Federations which are autonomous as per OLYMPIC CHARTER”

Previously, the Boxing Federation of India decided that all male World Championship medalists, but only the gold and silver female medalists will get direct entry into Olympic qualifiers, as according to them, some women boxing categories in the World Championships were not as competitive as their male counterparts. Nikhat was a victim of this policy, as her qualifier event in August was cancelled.