Mary Kom could be India’s wild card entry into 2016 Olympics
New Delhi, June 1: She couldn’t make the cut through qualifiers but star woman boxer M C Mary Kom’s Olympic dream is not quite over yet as India has decided to seek a wildcard entry for her in the Games scheduled from 5 August this year.
Mary Kom (51kg) had missed out on qualifying for the Olympics after bowing out in the second round of World Championships, held in May — the second and final qualifying tournament for women for the Games.
The 33-year-old was required to make at least the semifinals to be assured of an Olympic berth in the mega-event in Astana, Kazakhstan.
“She has been a phenomenal athlete and looking at her overall contribution to the sport, we have decided to request for a wildcard for her. However, her application will be among the many that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) will examine before taking a final decision,” Chairman of the ad-hoc committee currently running boxing in India, Kishen Narsi, told PTI.
Mary Kom, who is called ‘Magnificent Mary’ by AIBA, is a five-time world champion besides being a bronze-medallist from the London Olympics.
The multiple-time Asian champion could not get an Olympic quota place in either of the two qualifying events for women boxers and is keeping her fingers crossed for a wildcard.
“Let’s see how it goes,” was Mary Kom’s brief response on the latest efforts being made to secure what would be her second and final Olympic appearance.
The wildcards are basically Tripartite Commission Invitation Places, which are made available to all the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participating in the Olympics.
In the three Olympic categories of 51kg, 60kg and 75kg in women’s boxing, only one wildcard is available per division.
The decision on beneficiaries of these lucky tickets is taken only at the end of all the Olympic qualifying events in a particular sport.
In boxing, the Olympic qualifiers will draw to a close in the last week of this month with the AIBA world qualifiers for men in Azerbaijan.
Only one Indian boxer — Shiva Thapa (56kg) — has so far qualified for the Olympic Games.