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Mary Kom beats Nikhat Zareen, books Olympic qualifiers spot

Mary Kom will fight for Tokyo 2020 spot in the Asia-Oceanic qualifiers from February 3-14 next year in Wuhan, China after beating Nikhat Zareen in the 51kg category at the boxing trials.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: December 28, 2019 3:56:57 pm
Mary Kom beat Nikhat Zareen to book her spot in the Olympic qualifiers. (Source: File Photo)

The most awaited match in the ring went in favour of the experienced Mary Kom as she beat Nikhat Zareen by split decision 9-1 in the 51kg category at the boxing trials on Sunday, booking her spot in the Olympic qualifiers next year.

Six-time World Champion Mary Kom refused to shake Nikhat’s hands after the fight. The Manipur boxer will now fight for Tokyo 2020 spot in the Asia-Oceanic qualifiers from February 3-14, 2020 in Wuhan, China.

Nikhat was reduced to tears after an argument broke between Telangana boxing officials and Boxing Federation of India officials. BFI President Ajay Singh had to step in to control the situation after AP Reddy, claiming to represent the Telangana Boxing Association vociferously protested the decision.

“How will boxing grow amid this kind of politics,” Reddy later told reporters after being asked to leave the ringside by Singh.

The experienced 36-year-old’s name was initially sent to represent the country for the qualifiers but Nikhat publicly criticised the decision, demanding a fair televised trial.

On October 17, Nikhat had written to the Sports Ministry challenging the BFI decision by changing its rule of exempting gold and silver medallists from the World Cup.

READ: ‘I was a bit angry’: Mary Kom after refusing handshake with Nikhat

The 2012 London Olympics bronze-medallist had earlier beaten Ritu Grewal while Nikhat fought a difficult battle against reigning national champion Jyoti Gulia in the buildup to the final. Previously, Mary had won a bronze in the 51kg semi-final at the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Ulan-Ude in Russia.

In other results, Sakshi Chaudhary defeated Sonia Lather in split decision, getting selected for the Indian team for the Olympic Qualifiers in the 57kg category. Meanwhile, Sarita Devi went down to Simranjit in the 60kg boxing trial in split decision. Also making the squad was two-time world medallist Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) after beating Lalita.

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