Ace boxer of Manipur Mary Kom and former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia from Sikkim have been selected as part of a twelve member panel that will decide whom to honour with the national sports awards for this year.
The twelve member panel will select the winners of national sports awards like the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award, Dhyan Chand Award and Rashtriya Khel Poshan Award.
The winners of the prestigious national sports awards will be awarded on the occasion of National Sports Day which falls on August 29.
Apart from Bhaichung and Mary, the other members of the panel include Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd) Mukundam Sharma, sports secretary Radhey Shyam Jhulaniya, Sports Authority of India director General Sandeep Pradhan, Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) CEO commander Rajesh Rajagopalan, former women cricket team captain Anjum Chopra, former long jumper Anju Bobby George, table tennis coach Kamlesh Mehta, chief editor of Times Group (Digital) Rajesh Kalra, sports commentator Charu Sharma.
Mary Kom and Lovlina Borgohain have recently been selected for the upcoming Women’s World Boxing Championships scheduled to be held from October 3 to October 13 in Russia.
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has selected these two boxers based on their recent performances in other boxing competitions.
However, boxer Nikhat Zareen expressed disappointment as the BFI had selected Mary and Lovlina without conducting any trials for them.
Nikhat, who was thinking of competing Mary in the 51 kg trails, alleged in a letter to the BFI that unfair practices are being used to select boxers for World Championships.
She also alleged in her letter that she was stopped from competing in a scheduled trial bout on Tuesday against Vanlal Duati by BFI chief selector Rajesh Bhandari.
Bhandari said that Mary had been selected for World Championships without trials by the BFI for her remarkable achievements in past boxing competitions.
Mary’s husband Onler Kom also said that Mary had been selected for the World Championships directly by the BFI because she had given her best performances in the boxing tournaments for the past one year.