Hyderabad: Nizamabad girl and World Boxing Champion, Nikhat Zareen wrote a letter to Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju regarding equal opportunities in boxing.
The letter talked about August 7 and 8 when Nikhat was invited to Delhi for a trial for the World Championship held in Russia. She later wrote that the test was cancelled and her senior, Mary Kom, was sent.
After this incident, The BFI (Boxing Federation of India) announced that gold and silver medallists from the World Cup would be exempted from Olympic trials. Whereas today, she was reliably informed that the rule is now being changed and her fellow senior would be accommodated as the Indian Candidate without a trial, she further wrote in the letter.
Nikhat further went on to express her disappointment regarding the decision and wrote, “Sir, the very basis of sport is the concept of fair play and the need to keep proving our self every time. Even Olympic gold medallists have to fight again to qualify to represent the country. Mary Kom has inspired me since I was a teenager. The best way I can do justice to this inspiration was going to strive to be as great a boxer as her. Mary Kom is too big a legend in sport to need to hide from the competition and not defend her Olympic qualification.”
Writing further, she cited the example of 23-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps. She explained how he had to prequalify for the Olympics every time. She added that the rest of us have to do the same as well. She then told that she didn’t need any favours, just fair play. She also wrote about how the satisfaction of getting the best possible opportunity to make India proud at the Olympics will give her and everyone else a sound sleep. “I know that, not just as a minister but also as a former sportsman, you will not let me down. Request you to help protect the honour of sports,” Nikhat further wrote in the letter.
Notably, she is a gold medallist in the flyweight division in 2011 Woman’s Junior and Youth Boxing Championships in Turkey. She is also a silver medallist at the Youth World Boxing Championships in Bulgaria and another at the Thailand Open Championships in 2019. She also defeated the current World Champion Aitbayeva Liliya at an AIBA event in 2018 in Belgrade.