News Karnataka
Saturday, November 26 2022

Mary-Nikhat fight continues outside the ring!

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New Delhi: Mary Kom refused to shake hands or hug Nikhat Zareen after winning the intense bout between the two in the 51kg final of the women’s trials for the Indian team that will travel to China in February next year for the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifiers. There were also alleged foul language that the six-time world champion used against Nikhat when the latter approached her after the result was announced.

Mary said that she didn’t feel the need to shake hands with the 23-year-old after all that has happened over the past few months. “Why should I shake hands with her? If she wants others to respect her then she should first respect others. I don’t like people with such nature. Just prove your point inside the ring, not outside,” she told reporters at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium complex after the bout.

The saga started when Mary was allowed to go for the World Championships without a trial, which was called off on the morning it was to be held and Nikhat was prepared for it. It was reported that Mary herself did not want to give a trial and the 36-year-old reiterated the point on Saturday.  Mary had won bronze at the Worlds but BFI president Ajay Singh later indicated that she may be allowed to go for the qualifiers without trial. This prompted Nikhat to write a letter to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, an act which Mary criticised on Saturday.

Boxing Federation of India makes the rules. In the World Championships, silver and gold medalists did not need trials. “Why did she write a letter to the minister. Trial or no trial, I was always ready. Why should I give the trial? Performance-wise, there will be no trial. We are sent to so many tournaments, so many opportunities are given and who comes back with the gold? I am the one. Why should I give the trial again and again,” she asked.

She however also said that she is tired of being made to look like she is refusing to give trials despite her always following the BFI’s policy regardless of what her personal opinion is. “I am always focused. I am human so I will get irritated. It is almost 20 years since I started boxing and I always feel that I need to win something for the country till I am able to fight,” she said.

Upset with Mary’s behaviour: Nikhat

Meanwhile, Nikhat Zareen on Saturday said that she was disappointed by Mary Kom’s behaviour.

“I did not like how she behaved with me. When the decision was announced, I tried to hug her but she did not hug me back. Being a junior I expect from seniors that they respect us too. But she did not hug me back, I felt hurt but that’s ok. I don’t mind,” Nikhat told reporters at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium complex adding that Mary also used foul words in the ring.

“I did not agree with the 9-1 scoreline as the bout was a far closer affair. My performance was far better than what she put out at the India Open in May 2019,” she said.

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