Bindra backs Zareen's demand for trial against Mary Kom

Nikhat Zareen. (PTI File Photo)

India's only individual Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra on Thursday backed Nikhat Zareen's demand for a trial bout against celebrated boxer M C Mary Kom before India's squad for next year's Olympic Qualifiers is decided.

Former junior world champion boxer Zareen, who was refused a trial by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) for the World Championships, has written to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, demanding a "fair chance" to make it to the team for the Olympic qualifiers to be held in February next year.

"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," Bindra wrote on his twitter handle.

Both Bindra and Zareen are associated with JSW group in different capacities.

Mary Kom (51kg) claimed her eighth world medal at the recently-concluded championships in Russia and BFI now plans to send the Manipuri boxer for the Olympic qualifiers in China, moving away from the previous decision to give direct selection only to the gold and silver winners.

The BFI criteria for men made it possible for even the bronze-winners to get direct selection.

Zareen had lost to Mary Kom at the semifinal of India Open in May this year.

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