Abhinav Bindra: I respect Mary Kom, but yesterday never counts
Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra backs Nikhat Zareen's demand for a trial against veteran boxer ahead of next year's Tokyo Games qualifiers
New Delhi: India's only individual Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra yesterday backed Nikhat Zareen's demand for a trial bout against celebrated boxer M C Mary Kom before India's squad for next year's Olympic Qualifiers is decided. Former junior world champion boxer Zareen, who was refused a trial by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) for the World Championships, has written 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 wrote on his twitter handle. Both Bindra and Zareen are associated with JSW group in different capacities. Mary Kom (51kg) claimed her eighth world medal at the recently-concluded championships in Russia and BFI now plans to send the Manipuri boxer for the Olympic qualifiers in China, moving away from the previous decision to give direct selection only to the gold and silver winners.
The BFI criteria for men made it possible for even the bronze-winners to get direct selection. Zareen had lost to Mary Kom at the semifinal of India Open in May this year.
Nikhat writes to Sports Minster for trial
New Delhi: Former junior world champion boxer Nikhat Zareen has written to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, demanding a trial bout against MC Mary Kom before India's squad for next year's Olympic Qualifiers is decided. "Sir, the very basis of sport is fairplay and need to keep proving oneself each and every time. Even Olympic gold medallists have to fight again to qualify to represent the country," she wrote in the letter.
"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," she said.
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