The controversy broke after Mary was given direct entry into the World Championships in Russia without appearing for the trials against Nikhat Zareen.
New Delhi: Olympic medallist Mary Kom feels it is “weird” that proven performers have to undergo selection trials and asserted that they should be fast-tracked into World Championships. Mary added that she has no qualms in seeking exemption from the trials for the World Championships.
When asked about her absence from the trials, she said, “It’s up to the BFI (Boxing Federation of India) because they handle everything. Maybe BFI can alter the programme by having no trials for boxers who are performing well; they can directly be fast-tracked into World Championships.”
However, she explained that it was the BFI who called off the match and she had no role in what came about.
The statement comes on the heels of Mary given a direct entry into the World Championships in Russia without appearing for trials against her competitor in the 51 kg category, Nikhat Zareen. Zarren was denied a trial bout against Mary on the scheduled date even as she demanded a written explanation from the BFI.
Mary was selected on the basis of her recent performances at the India Open which she followed it up in Indonesia.
But the champion boxer didn’t mince words and questioned the regulations behind selection trials in boxing.
“Even in other games like badminton, who gives trial? Have you seen Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu appearing for trials? But in our case it is different. It felt weird,” she said on the sidelines of an event arranged by All India Gaming Federation(AIGF) where it released a report ‘Online Games: A tool for learning and development.’
Another controversy soon surfaced at the press conference when Mary was asked why she recused herself from the meeting wherein her personal coach Chhote Lal Yadav’s name was discussed for the Dronacharya award. She said, “This is the second time I was in the committee. There was no controversy back then. I have recommended many coaches before. I don’t understand what happened this time.”
Mary was part of the committee to select the Dronacharya Awardees. She had herself nominated Yadav for the honour triggering a media storm on conflict of interest issue following which she recused herself from the meeting.