Two days after Beijing Olympics gold medalist Abhinav Bindra backed Nikhat Zareen for a trial bout against Mary Kom for next year’s Tokyo qualifiers, the six-time world champion slammed the shooter, stating that it is not his “business to interfere.”
Mary, who recently secured her first Worlds medal in the new 51-kg weight category in Russia, was quoted by PTI as saying: “Bindra is an Olympic gold medallist but I too have multiple golds at World Championships. This is not his business, to involve in boxing, to interfere. I don’t talk about shooting, so it is better for him to stay quiet on boxing. He doesn’t know the exact rules of boxing.”
She added, “He doesn’t know anything about boxing. It is better to be quiet. I don’t think Abhinav would also go for trials before every shooting tournament.”
Bindra supported Zareen’s demand for a trial bout against the six-time world champion before India’s squad for next year’s Olympic Qualifiers is decided.
The development comes after the former junior world champion boxer wrote to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, demanding a “fair chance” to make it to the team for the Olympic qualifiers to be held in February next year.
“While I have all the respect for Mary Kom, fact is, an athlete’s life is an offering of proof. Proof that we can be as good as yesterday. Better than yesterday. Better than tomorrows man/woman. In sport, yesterday NEVER counts,” Bindra tweeted on Thursday.
As per a report, the BFI has decided to send Mary for the Olympic qualifiers in China, shifting away from the previous decision to give a direct entry only to the gold and silver winners.
Zareen had earlier lost her bout against Mary at the semifinal of India Open in May this year.
-With PTI inputs