FILE PHOTOS – Indian boxer MC Mary Kom punches a bag during a training session at the Balewadi stadium in Pune, about 190 km from Mumbai, on March 12, 2012. REUTERS / Danish Siddiqui

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s MC Mary Kom signed his spot for next year’s Olympic qualifiers on Saturday with a split win against fly mate Nikhat Zareen, who had publicly requested a trial against six-time champion of the world in the race for Tokyo.

The 36-year-old Kom, London 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, won 9-1 and was selected in the 51kg category in the Indian team for the 3-14 February qualifying competition in Wuhan, China, by the Boxing Federation of India ( BFI).

The pint-sized puncher had previously obtained an automatic seat, but 23-year-old Zareen criticized this decision and said that Kom would have to go through the trials. Zareen also wrote to sports minister Kiren Rijiju asking for his speech.

Kom had said that he would follow BFI’s instructions, who later decided to hold the rehearsal with the opinion dividing the views in the country where Kom is hailed as “Magnifica Maria” for her achievements.

The face of the campaign to bring women’s boxing to the London Olympics, Kom won a record sixth gold medal at the World Boxing Championships last year.

The most recent gold came after an eight-year hiatus for the pioneering mother of three, who also won gold medals in the Asian and Commonwealth Games and won her first world championship medal (silver) in the 2001.

Sudipto Ganguly reporting; editing by Christian Radnedge

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