Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju responded to former Junior World Champion boxer Nikhat Zareen on Twitter, on October 18. The former junior world champion had written to the Sports Minister asking for a trial bout for the selection of India's boxing representatives in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers. Zareen had demanded a match against MC Mary Kom before the upcoming Olympic qualifiers.
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 https://t.co/GqIBdtWRMp— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) October 18, 2019
Responding to Nikhat Zareen's tweets, Kiren Rijiju informed her that the Ministry of Sports cannot interfere in the selection matter of any national federation as the federation has to take an autonomous decision as per the Olympic Charter.
Mary Kom was selected by the Boxing Federation of India based on her consistent performance after the legendary Indian boxer won her eighth World Boxing Championship medal in Russia. As the BFI had already selected Mary Kom for the Olympic qualifiers, Nikhat Zareen was refused a trial by the BFI.
The BFI had previously decided that only those who have won a gold or silver medal will be directly sent for the qualifiers. The federation is now planning to send Mary Kom directly to the qualifiers after she won a Bronze medal at the World Championship in Russia.
The Olympic qualifiers are scheduled to happen in China in February 2020. Meanwhile, MC Mary Kom has stated that she would follow the BFI guidelines on selection trials and will compete if asked by the federation.
India's performance at the World Boxing Championship was phenomenal as Manju Rani reached the finals in the 48kg category and lost the bout whereas Mary Kom eighth World Championship medal, as she won bronze in the 51kg category in this prestigious tournament to add to her glittering resume that already has a staggering six gold medals and one silver.
The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, would just not be about games but they will also be promoting the message of sustainable development and climate change. The medals for the event were recently unveiled and it is revealed that the medals will be made from recycled electronic waste, primarily old phones that the Japanese people have disposed of.