Former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen on Friday advanced to the 51kg category finals of the women’s boxing trials for next year’s Olympic Qualifiers after defeating Jyoti Gulia in New Delhi by unanimous decision. Mary Kom got the better of Ritu Grewal to reach the final.

Zareen defeated Gulia, also a youth world gold-medallist and the reigning national champion, in a unanimous verdict win in the opening bout of the two-day competition, which will end on Saturday.

Zareen had kicked up a storm a few weeks ago by demanding a trial against six-time world champion MC Mary Kom after the Boxing Federation of India’s flip-flop on the selection policy for the Olympic Qualifiers.

In other bouts, world youth gold-medallist Sakshi defeated Manisha Maun in the 57kg category, while former national champion Simranjit Kaur defeated Pavitra in the 60kg opener. Simranjit got a win via unanimous decision while Sakshi got a split-decision verdict in her favour. The Olympic qualifiers are scheduled to be held in China in February next year.

All five categories in women’s boxing are being decided by trials as none in the 51kg, 57kg, 60kg, 69kg, and 75kg divisions managed to make the finals of the world championships.