Six-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist MC Mary Kom showed her class on Sunday to defeat challenger Nikhat Zareen 9-1 in the selection trials match at the IG Stadium in New Delhi. With this win, Mary Kom confirmed her India representation in the 51 kg category for the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers. The Olympic qualifiers will take place between February 3-14 in Wuhan, China.
Both Nikhat and Mary Kom had to scratch their way through to the summit clash but the seasoned Mary Kom held her nerve when it mattered the most to end Nikhat’s Tokyo Olympic dreams.
The bout wasn’t devoid of controversy as a few representatives from Zareen’s home state Telangana’s boxing association cried foul after Kom’s victory. Boxing Federation of India (BFI) President Ajai Singh had to step in to calm down the situation.
“We have done the trials in a fair and democratic manner. There were ten judges and we had also invited the media,” said Ajai Singh.
In other results, two-time world silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57kg) was upstaged by a swift-moving Sakshi Chaudhary. Lather, also an Asian medallist, couldn’t cope with Chaudhury’s relentless attack.
In the 60kg category, former world champion L Sarita Devi lost to national champion Simranjit Kaur. It was once again a battle of pace as Kaur outwitted Sarita with her precise hitting and quick reflexes.