New Delhi: On a day when the Sports Authority of India (SAI) expressed concern that the Indian pugilists might not be allowed to compete under the Tricolour in the Asian Games, Olympic bronze medallist MC Mary Kom returned to the national team with a resounding victory in the trials in Patiala.
With selectors, government observers and coaches watching the bout at the national camp, the former five-time world champion got the better of Pinki Jangra to book a berth in the Asian Games squad in the 51 kg category.
It was sweet revenge for Mary Kom, as she had lost her chance to go to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, after losing to Pinki in the trials. She was not happy with the result and even requested the SAI to appoint special observers for the trials this time.
However, the biggest surprise of the trials was the return of Akhil Kumar to the national team in the 60 kg category. A quarter finalist of the 2008 Beijing Olympics was not at his best in the past few seasons and was out of the national team for major meets since 2011.
On Wednesday, Akhil got the better of Rohit Tokas to clinch the 60 kg spot in the Indian team. He had defeated Vikas Malik on the first day of the trials. “Lots of people had written me off. But I knew I was still capable of participating in international meets. So, I worked hard and found my way back in the national team,” said Akhil.