New Delhi, Oct 17 : Having cried foul after the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) hinted that there would no trial between her and Mary Kom in the 51kg category for participating in the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers in Wuhan from February 3 to 14, Nikhat Zareen has now written to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, asking for a fair opportunity.
The boxer had told IANS on Wednesday that she would speak to Rijiju after trying to contact BFI President Ajay Singh several times. And that is exactly what she did on Thursday as she also took to Twitter to post the letter.
“All I want is a fair chance.If I’m not given the opporunity to compete what am I training for. Sports is about FairPlay & I dont want to loose faith in my country.Jai Hind (sic),” she wrote.
In the letter, also published with the tweet, she brought the example of how even Michael Phelps had to qualify every single time to participate in the Olympics and also spoke about how she has been inspired by Mary Kom since she was a teenager.
“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 re-qualify every time for the Olympics, the rest of us must do the same,” she wrote.
“I am writing to you as a sportswoman trying to make her mark in sport and bring India glory on the international stage.”
She also found support from Abhinav Bindra, India’s only individual gold medal winner at the Olympics, as he re-tweeted Nikhat’s tweet with the message: “While I have all the respect for Marykom , Fact is ,an athletes 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 (sic).”