Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen won the gold medal for India by defeating Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas in the flyweight final bout on Thursday last week. This bout of the 52 kg category of the Women’s World Boxing Championship was held in Istanbul, Turkey, scoring the match 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28. After record six-time champion Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2018), Sarita Devi (2006), Jenny RL (2006) and Lekha KC (2006), Nikhat Zareen became the only fifth female India to win a gold medal at the World Boxing Championships.
Nikhat Zareen is the fifth Indian boxer after Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Jenny RL and Lekha KC to win a World Championship gold medal. In a virtual chat with the media after her victory, Nikhat said: “This victory is for my parents. Every time I used to call my mother, she would come after praying and praying for my victory.”
“This prayer is accepted by the above, this victory is his gold. Everyone knows how much my father has supported me. My victory is dedicated to my parents. When I was going through bad times, someone was with me.” No, but my parents, my family were with me.”
When Nikhat was told by a journalist that she was trending on Twitter, her happiness knew no bounds, she said, “Am I really trending on Twitter, I have a dream that one day I will trend on Twitter.” And if I am doing it today, I am very happy to know that.”
“The kind of obstacles that came my way made me strong. Especially my injury made me mentally strong no matter what happens. When I woke up in the morning on the day of final day, I remembered the above And rested. All day I kept thinking about how my movements would be in the final.”
In 2019, the legendary Mary asked “Who is Nikhat Zareen? I don’t know her”, and today, she, all of India and the boxing world know who Zareen is.
Obviously, this self-confidence of Zareen was not seen by Mary Kom or by the federation. Mary Kom had also said as she took a sarcastic sarcasm at that time: Nikhat Zareen, who is she… I don’t even know her!
Story of Nikhat Zareen
Nikhat was born in the Indian city of Nizamabad, Telangana. Since her junior year, she has been making headlines. She rose to fame in 2011 when she won the World Junior Boxing Championships in the 50kg weight division.
Zareen got her start in the sport after learning that there were no female boxers during the Urban Games being held in her city. Nikhat started boxing at the age of 13 and within six months won the state championship gold medal at Karimnagar in 2010.
Within three months, Nikhat has adjudged the ‘Best Boxer’ at the Sub-Junior Championship in Erode (Tamil Nadu). Soon Nikhat joined the Sports Authority of India (SAI) camp.
At the time, Zareen asked her father why there were no female boxers at the Urban Games and her response was that they were “not strong enough”. This made her take up the sport. “That’s when I decided what I had to do and I told my father that I wanted to show people that a girl could also box,” she told the newspaper in 2013.
Nikhat trained at the Inspire Institute of Sports in Vijaynagar under American trainer Ronn Simms. At the 2019 Thailand Open, she won a silver medal. At the 2019 Asian Championships, bronze.
In 2019, at the Strandja Memorial, she was awarded gold. She also won a bronze medal at the 2019 Indian Open and also a gold medal at Stradja Memorial, 2022.
“In a Muslim family, they believe that girls should not be given the freedom to go out. Our relatives warn my father: ‘Jawaan ladki ko kahan bahar bhej rahe ho?’ (Why do you send an adult girl),” she recalled.
In Nizamabad, when she picked up the boxing gloves, she was the only girl and she faced teasing and ridicule from the boys, but it did not bring her down, according to her report.
Nikhat’s father himself aspired to become a cricketer and also used to do boxing but the financial condition did not give him a chance to turn his dreams into reality.
journey so far
- 2011: Gold at Junior World Championships
- 2018: Passed Belgrade International Boxing Championship
- 2018: Bronze in Women’s Senior National Championship in Haryana
- 2019: Bronze in India Open
- 2019: Silver in Asian Championship (Thailand)
- 2019: Silver at Thailand Open
- 2019: Gold in 70th edition Strandja Boxing Tournament (Bulgaria)
- 2021: Bronze in Istanbul tournament
- 2022: Gold in 73rd Edition Strandza Boxing Tournament (Bulgaria)
PM Modi congratulated
Congratulating Nikhat on this stupendous victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted, “Our boxers have made us proud! I congratulate Nikhat Zareen for winning the stupendous gold in the Women’s World Boxing Championship. Also in this competition.” Congratulations to Manisha Maun and Parveen Hooda also for winning bronze.”
Ajay Singh, President, Boxing Federation of India said on Nikhat’s victory, “It is always a dream to win a medal at the world level and it is extremely commendable for Nikhat to achieve it so soon. Not only has made us all proud, but his boxing journey is an inspiration for generations to come.”