Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
News18 » Sports
4-min read

I Look for No Favours, Just Fair Play: Denied a Trial, Nikhat Zareen Sends SoS to Govt on Mary Kom

Nikhat Zareen said she is being denied a fair chance at reaching the Olympic qualifiers with BFI tweaking the rules in favour of Mary Kom.

News18 Sports

Updated:October 17, 2019, 2:11 PM IST
facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp
I Look for No Favours, Just Fair Play: Denied a Trial, Nikhat Zareen Sends SoS to Govt on Mary Kom
File photo of Nikhat Zareen. (Photo Credit: BFI)

New Delhi: 23-year-old boxer Nikhat Zareen wrote to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju raising her voice against Boxing Federation of India's (BFI) supposed decision to facilitate Mary Kom's direct entry into the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers, to be held in Wuhan from February 3 to 14.

Zareen had said on Wednesday that she had tried to contact BFI president Ajay Singh several times after he hinted that there would no trial between her and Mary Kom in the 51kg category but to no avail.

Zareen, who competes in the same category as Mary Kom, earlier had her trials for the World Championships also cancelled and Mary Kom was sent directly to Ulan-Ude, Russia where she bagged a bronze medal - her eighth Worlds medal.

Ahead of the World Championships, BFI had said that gold and silver medallists from the Worlds will directly go for Olympic qualifiers but now BFI president has said that since bronze medallists in men's division make direct qualification, women will too - a tweak of rule that directly benefits Mary Kom and puts Zareen at a disadvantageous position.

With the turn of events, Zareen decided to write to Rijiju, asking him for a fair chance of going for the Olympics qualifiers.

"Sir, the very basis of sport is the concept of fair play and the need to keep proving oneself each and every time. Even Olympic Gold medallists have to fight again to qualify to represent the country.

"I have been inspired by Mary Kom since I was a teenager. The best way I can do justice to this inspiration was to strive to be as great a boxer as her. And Mary Kom is too big a legend in sport to need to hide from competition and not actually defend her Olympic qualification. After all, if 23-time gold medallist Michael Phelps had to requalify every time for the Olympics, the rest of us must do the same.

"Sir, I look for no favours. Just fair play. And whether Mary Kom or I or any other boxer qualifies after the trial, we can at least sleep at night knowing that every one of the candidates got the best possible opportunity to make India proud at the Olympics," Zareen wrote in a letter to Rijiju that she posted on Twitter.

Zareen concluded the letter expressing her belief that Rijiju, a former sportsman as well, "will not let me down" and asked him to "protect the honour of sports".

Here is the full text of the letter written by Zareen:

To,

Mr Kiren Rijiju

Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs

New Delhi

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you as a sportswoman trying to make her mark in sports and bring India glory on the international stage.

I started my career winning the gold medal in the flyweight division in the 2011 Women's Junior and Youth World Boxing Championships in Turkey and then a silver medal at the 2013 Youth World Boxing Championships in Bulgaria. More recently, I won the silver medal at the Thailand Open Championships in 2019 and defeated the current world champion Aitbayeva Liliya at an AIBA event in 2018 in Belgrade.

On the 6th and 7th of August 2019, I was invited to a trial in Delhi for selection for the World Championship. To my utter dismay, the trial was cancelled and Mary Kom was sent.

After this decision, the BFI announced that gold and silver medallists from the World Cup will be exempt from Olympic trials. Today, I have been reliably informed that the rule is now being changed again to accomodate my senior, Mary Kom as the Indian candidate without a trial.

Sir, the very basis of sport is the concept of fair play and the need to keep proving oneself each and every time. Even Olympic Gold medallists have to fight again to qualify to represent the country.

I have been inspired by Mary Kom since I was a teenager. The best way I can do justice to this inspiration was to strive to be as great a boxer as her. And Mary Kom is too big a legend in sport to need to hide from competition and not actually defend her Olympic qualification. After all, if 23-time gold medallist Michael Phelps had to requalify every time for the Olympics, the rest of us must do the same.

Sir, I look for no favours. Just fair play. And whether Mary Kom or I or any other boxer qualifies after the trial, we can at least sleep at night knowing that every one of the candidates got the best possible opportunity to make India proud at the Olympics.

I know, not just as the Minister but as a former sportsman, that you will not let me down. Request you to help protect the honour of sports.

Warm Regards,

Nikhat Zareen

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results