Nikhat Zareen on Saturday was named in the 51kg weight category for the trials to participate in India’s Olympic qualifiers early next year. Zareen had requested for trials to be held after it was widely speculated that six-time world champion Mary Kom would have a free run to the qualifiers in China when Boxing Federation of India announce their final squad. The trials will be held in New Delhi on December 27 and 28.
But, Zareen, ranked No 2 in her weight category has her task cut out. She will have to take on the third-ranked Jyoti Gulia, a former world youth champion. Mary Kom will face face fourth-ranked Ritu Grewal of Haryana.
The boxers ranked one and four will take on each other and so will the ones ranked two and three. The winners of each bout will make it to the final trial match and the winners in each of the five categories will then be selected to be part of the Indian team to participate in the Olympic Qualifiers – Asia & Oceania in Wuhan from February 3-14, 2020.
Elsewhere, the 57kg throws some mouth-watering clashes with four fairly evenly matched boxers picked in the draw. Sonia Chahal has been ranked No 1 and will take on her namesake, the experienced Sonia Lather. It will be a battle between two Haryana boxers in the other bout with world youth champion Sakshi Choudhary locking horns against Manisha.
Former world champion Sarita Devi, ranked No 1 in the 60kg category, will have a tough battle against the promising Shashi Chopra.
Vikas, Sachin through
Sachin Siwach, the former youth champion will face off against Md. Mussamuddin in his opening trial bout for the Olympic qualifiers. The men’s trials will be held on December 29 and 30.
World Championship medallists Amit Panghal and Manish Kaushik have already booked their respective places in the qualifiers. Vikas Krishan, after making a stunning return to the amateur scene, is named the top-ranked boxer in the 69kg category. Without Sanjeet, Commonwealth Games medallist Naman Tanwar will be fancying his chances in the 91kg category.
The 75kg winner will be a straight shoot-out between Ashish Kumar and Ankit Khatana. It will be a similar story in the 91+kg category with veteran Satish Kumar taking on Narender.