National champion boxers Manju Rani, Shiksha Narwal and Poonam Poonia were unfortunately left out of the Indian contingent for the upcoming Boxing World Championship. However this did not sit well with the pugiulists as they have now asked Delhi High Court’s intervention into this matter.
In their petition they have shared that all of the gold medal winners in the national championships held in Bhopal last December were selected in the team expect them.
“…the petitioners have requested the relevant authorities for considering their names for selection in women’s world championship, but they did not get any fruitful results,” they wrote.
“When the nine other boxers (who won the nationals) got direct qualification then why haven’t we three from Railways got it,” said Manju who finished with a silver medal in the 2019 World Championships.
Manju shared that they have written for clarification to the Boxinng Federation of India but have not received any response from the federation.
However BFI clears their stance by stating that winning gold medal was not a criteria to get selected in the World Championships team. BFI shared that they have followed the new selection policyu to pick pugilists in all categories for the Asian Games and the World Championships. Manju (48kg), Shiksha (54kg) and Poonam (60kg) failed to make the final cut.
BFI’s new High Performance Director Bernard Dunne closely noticed the boxers and evaluated the pugilists on several areas and parameters before the final Indian team was selected for the upcoming World Championships.
Dunne alongwith Bhaskar Bhatt and the CA Kuttapa – the head coaches of Men’s and Women’s team made a ranking list for the Indian pugilists. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Neetu Ghangas (634), Preeti (623), and Commonwealth Games bronze Jasmine Lamboria (612) finished way ahead of Manju (564), Shiksha (573) and Poonam (567) in the evaluation and ranking test.
“We made sure all boxers know about the new selection policy, it’s there on the website as well. They knew about the evaluation as well in the camp. We even told them in hindi the criteria and the process,” BFI secretary Hemanta Kalita told PTI.
Kalita shared that wining Nationals is not enough right now as boxers need to be evaluated irrespective of these factors. “They are saying we won in nationals but the criteria has changed, a boxer has to be evaluated irrespective now. And if they had a problem with the policy they should have said it one day 1 that ‘we won’t follow this’,” he added.
When questioned about the evaluation and ranking system, Manju said they were told about in at the camp but not informed while they were sparring. She also raised questions on the legitimacy of the Nationals and purpose of organizing these nationals when performing boxers aren’t considered in big events.
“We were told about the assessment during the camp but while sparring etc we were not told we are being judged at that moment. Some of the girls who have been selected didn’t even compete in the nationals, so what was the point of conducting the nationals,” Manju erupted as she took a slight dig at Nitu who did not participate in the nationals.