Miffed over non-selection for Worlds, boxer lodges complaint with BFI
She lodged a complaint with the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) president on Wednesday requesting him to consider her inclusion in the big event.
CHENNAI: A fortnight before the start of the IBA Women's World Championships in New Delhi, the selection of the national squad for the marquee event has come under the scanner. Shiksha Narwal, who was ignored despite winning gold at the nationals, approached the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) demanding her inclusion in the team. The championships is set to kick off on March 15.
"I defeated Preeti 4:1 in pre-quarters en route to winning 54kg gold at the 2022 National Championships held in December in Bhopal. When the camp was announced last month, I was ranked first given my top-of-the-podium finish in the nationals. But I was shocked to see Preeti being preferred ahead of me for the Worlds," 26-year-old Shiksha told this daily.
She lodged a complaint with the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) president on Wednesday requesting him to consider her inclusion in the big event. "Out of 12 weight categories for the Worlds, nine have boxers who won nationals gold. Commonwealth Games medallists were preferred in two weight categories but in my division, Preeti was preferred over me. At the start of camp, I was ranked first and Preeti was ranked third. But now she has been ranked first while I am placed behind her. I want to know the reason behind the move," she asked in her complaint mailed to the BFI.
Earlier, the federation selected three boxers — gold and silver medallists from 2022 nationals and 2022 Asian Championships or CWG medallist — in each weight category (total 12 divisions) for the national camp ahead of the Worlds. Preeti had won bronze in the continental championships but she had achieved the same in the 57kg category.
"I understand Asian Championships and Commonwealth Games medallists being given preference over national winners but don't get the logic of applying the rule ignoring the weight category. Preeti won in 57kg but now she is named in the squad in 54kg. This is beyond my understanding," Vijay Hooda, Shiksha's coach, told this daily.
Hooda, who trains pugilists at the Shaheed Batun Singh Stadium in Rurkee, Rohtak (Haryana), requested the BFI to include his ward in the team otherwise he would be forced to move the court. "Names of two boxers were sent in each weight category. BFI can still replace Preeti with Shiksha till the draw of lots. I request the BFI to include Shiksha's name in the list. She deserves it. If not then I will file a petition in the court requesting the same," he added.
The BFI could not be reached for their take on the matter despite several attempts. As per the selection criteria for National Coaching Camps, World Championships and Asian Games 2023 available on BFI's website, each athlete who participates in the National Coaching Camp will be evaluated.
"Once the evaluation process is complete, all evaluations will be submitted to the High Performance Selection Committee, which is composed of the [Secretary General BFI, HPD & Head Coaches]. The High-Performance Selection Committee will review all evaluations and the athlete with the best evaluation, per weight class, will be selected to the Elite National Team to participate in the respective male/female world championships," read the criteria.
Shiksha, a multiple national topper, had missed the Worlds in 2018 despite being the 54kg gold medallist the previous year in the national championships. "I lost the trials so I made peace with the decision at that time but now I deserve a place in the team," signed off the boxer, who reached the quarterfinals in the 2021 Worlds in the same weight category.