Mary Kom denied Rio ticket by IOC

In a major heartbreak for country’s star pugilist Mary Kom and her fans, the International Olympic Committee has denied wild card entry to the five times world champion for the Rio Olympics Games.

Mary Kom’s hopes of securing qualification for the forthcoming Rio Olympics were shattered after she crashed out of the second round of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan.   -  PTI

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejecting India’s request for a tripartite commission place for star boxer M.C. Mary Kom in the Rio Olympics has left many surprised. Nevertheless, it has happened as per rules laid down by the IOC to allow maximum representation of countries in the mega event.

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The International Boxing Association (AIBA) ad-hoc committee managing the boxing affairs in the country had requested the apex body for a quota place for the five-time World champion and London Olympics bronze medallist.

Later, Mary Kom had approached the Indian Olympic Association to try and get her a quota place.

It is learnt that the IOC could not accept India’s request for a tripartite quota place as the National Olympic Committee (NOC) was not eligible for such a privilege as per the allocation procedure and regulations of the Rio Olympic Games Tripartite Commission Invitation Places.

“Invitation places can only be allocated to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) with an average of eight or less athletes (athlete quota places) in individual sports/disciplines at the last two editions of the Olympic Games (Beijing and London),” says the NOC Eligibility criterion of the allocation procedure.

“As invitation places are available only in individual sports, the following team sports are not included in the calculation of NOC delegation sizes: baseball, basketball, football, handball, hockey, softball, volleyball/beach volleyball and water polo,” it added.

India had sent 56 athletes in individual sports to the Beijing Olympics and 65 (excluding hockey) to the London Games.

While stipulating bigger countries through the NOC Eligibility criterion, the IOC has further underlined its intention of covering maximum countries in its Allocation Criteria, which includes factors such as universality (by allowing more NOCs to participate in a given sport), continental balance and gender equity.

Mary Kom’s absence in the Rio Olympics may be disappointing for the Indian fans but the legendary boxer, who could not qualify despite giving her best, has accepted the fact and has decided to move on.

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