Mary Kom says regional bias at play during selections
Olympic bronze medallist MC Mary Kom broke down at a charity event and attacked the Indian selectors for harbouring regional bias against her during selection for the boxing trails. Mary argued that the selectors had been repeatedly favouring Haryana's Pinky Jangra, who plays in the same weight category as her. She further highlighted that this bias prevailed despite her beating Jangra.
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom is an Indian boxer from Manipur and five-time World Amateur Boxing champion. She is the first Indian woman boxer to clinch a Gold Medal in the Asian Games (2014). She also has an Olympic Bronze medal in her kitty.
Speaking after a felicitation by Eternal Partners, Mary Kom spoke about the prejudice faced by North-eastern sportspersons. She said that "discrimination and partiality can kill a sportsperson's soul". Mary Kom lamented being ignored by the press in her own state, Manipur. She said that throughout her career as a boxer, Manipuri press had shunned her even after her Olympic bronze medal victory.
MC Mary Kom lost to Haryana's Pinky Jangra in a 3-day selection trial Due to this loss, she was dropped from the 3 member Indian women's boxing squad for the Commonwealth Games. Pinky Jangra, L Sarita Devi and Pooja Rani are to represent India for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow from 23 July to 3 August 2014.
The Commonwealth game trial win was Pinky Jangra's 2nd win against Mary Kom. In 2009, Jangra had beaten Mary for the first time in the quarters of the Nationals.
Prior to the Asian Games trials Mary Kom wrote a letter to the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) and Sports Authority of India (SAI) to designate a "government observer — belonging to the North East" to guarantee fair trials. Mary Kom said that "she felt cheated along with other North-Eastern boxers during the course of CWG trials...that this time it should not be repeated".
London Olympics bronze medallist MC Mary Kom beat Pinky Jangra, thereby passing the qualifying test for the Asian Games which was to be held at Incheon. Mary Kom's former coach L Ibomcha Singh and Jas Lal Pradhan were appointed as observers to maintain fair Asiad trials. This happened because Kom had previously complained of partiality at the Commonwealth trials.
Mary Kom broke down saying: "Sometimes I feel very upset. Some of the referees and judges do not favour me but I don't mind. Okay, I am from north-east, no problem, but I am still an Indian"