Reigning World Youth champion and current Senior National champion, Arundhati Choudhary, has written to the Boxing Federation of India requesting a trial to select India's representative in the 70kg weight division for the World Championships to be held in December this year. The BFI had earlier handed Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist, Lovlina Borgohain, direct qualification for the tournament in that weight division, even while deciding that the remaining squad would be made up of gold medal winners from the national championships that were held in Hisar last month.
"I have one humble request that in Dec 2021 World Boxing Championship will take place and I want to put my candidature to represent India in my weight category," Choudhary wrote in the email addressed to BFI president Ajay Singh and the BFI.
It will be a hard call to deny Borgohain. Already a two-time world medalist, the 24-year-old from Assam had won India's only medal in boxing at the Olympic games and will be awarded the country's highest sporting honor - the Khel Ratna, for that achievement later this month. Choudhary though, has pointed out in her letter that Borgohain has been out of practice since the Olympics. Indeed, none of India's medalists at the Olympics have competed since it ended and are unlikely to return to action until next season. Wrestlers Ravi Dahiya and Bajrang Punia, who won silver and bronze medals in Tokyo, skipped the world championships and are also not taking part in this month's national championships.
"Sir in my weight category Lovlina Borgohain who had won a bronze Olympic medal. As you are aware Lovlina is out of practice since then and if I have given opportunity for trail (sic) I have real chance of winning medal for India. Sir even in the past also great boxer Mary Kom had given trail (sic) even though she is great boxer from India and having maximum medals including Olympic and world championships," Choudhary further writes.
Mary Kom, after winning India's first Olympic medal in women's boxing in 2012, competed and subsequently lost a selection trial for a place in the Indian squad for the 2014 CWG - her first high-level competition since the Olympics.
"Sir the very basic of sport is the concept of fairplay and the need to keep proving oneself each and every time. Even Olympic gold medalist have to fight again to qualify to represent their country. Sir I look for no favours. Just fair play. Whether Lovlina Borgohain or I or any other boxer qualifies after the trail (sic) we can at least sleep at night knowing that every one of the candidates got the best possible opportunity to make India proud at the World boxing championships 2021," Choudhary states in the letter.
आदरणीय अजय सिंह जी सारे बॉक्सिंग परिवार को #HappyDiwali त्यौहार के अवसर पर मेरी प्रार्थना स्वीकार करें ������ @AjaySingh_SG @BFI_official @ianuragthakur @Anurag_Office @ombirlakota @PMOIndia @AmitShah @jon_selvaraj @ANI @OneroofLaw @Media_SAI @BDUTT @rahulkanwal @gurung1012 ���� pic.twitter.com/Yoydnl6KEM
- Arundhati Choudhary ���� (@BoxerAC) November 4, 2021
Even as she bids to represent India at the World Championships, the 20-year-old from Kota, Rajasthan is already touted as one of the boxers to watch out for in the future. She is a three-time winner of the Khelo India Competition, and in her final year of eligibility won the Youth World Championships in Poland this year. In October, she participated at the National Championships, where she knocked out two opponents and won every other bout by unanimous decision on her way to her maiden national title.
"[If] I am not given a chance to compete at the World Championships this year, it will cost me two years of my career since there won't be a World Championships next year. I respect Lovlina didi a lot. But I also want my performance to be recognized. I am confident that if I have a trial, I will be able to prove I deserve to go to the World Championships," Choudhary told ESPN.