CWG 2022: In Nikhat Zareen’s ring of fire, spirit soars while adversity melts | Commonwealth Games 2022 News

NEW DELHI: When Nikhat Zareen first took to the ring aged 12 in his hometown of Nizamabad in 2008, the sparring session with a boy had left the boxer with a blackened eye and a bloody nose. His mother, Praveen Sultana, was furious. She was worried that it might hamper her child’s marriage prospects.
She said Nikhat abandon the idea of ​​becoming a boxer. For Nikhat, there were more pressing matters at hand. How to seek revenge on this boy and repay him with interest. So a young and pugnacious Nikhat called him to train with her when she returned to the Nizamabad stadium complex after recovering and left him with a bloodier nose than his, forcing the coaches to stop. the session.


Nikhat hasn’t looked back since despite many challenges. Whether it is the indifference of the boxing federation (IBF) or an injury. The Asian Championships bronze medalist suffered a career-threatening right shoulder dislocation during the All-India Inter University meet in October 2017. It seemed like a knockout blow to her dreams of shining on the world stage in women’s flyweight boxing. Her trainers and physiotherapists told her that her dominant hand would need surgery to get her to box again. In an instant, the world had turned upside down and it seemed like her brilliant boxing career would end prematurely.
But Nikhat likes a challenge. She went under the knife in Mumbai, consulted psychologists to put those negative thoughts behind her, and rehabilitated for a year under the guidance of an American boxing trainer. Ronald Sims and emerged a stronger and much fitter boxer. She heralded her second comeback by winning the Strandja Memorial encounter in Bulgaria in February 2019 and since then the World Youth Championships silver medalist hasn’t slowed down, blasting her way through and winning medals along the way.


Her greatest achievement came on May 19, when she beat Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas 5-0 in the final (52kg) to become the women’s world boxing champion in the flyweight category and only India’s fifth female boxer to win gold at the Worlds. . Nikhat also brought India its first gold medal in four years at Worlds, after MC Mary KomHistoric victory in the 48 kg category during the 2018 edition of the event.
For Nikhat, it was redemption for the difficult times she had endured rising through the ranks under the shadow of six-time world champion Mary Kom, when the former junior and junior world champion was denied the chance to participate in the selection trials for the Tokyo Olympic qualifier against his idol before the BFI gives in.
“I never realized it at the time, but being with my family almost immediately after this trial really helped me grow. The New Year came and I actually became a new person, completely rejuvenated. and fresh. I said to myself: “Tokyo was not in my destiny. Tidy. It’s a new year, let’s start again. More importantly, I realized that what is not in your hands, is not in your hands. No need to worry about it. Today I am world champion,” she recently told TOI.


The highly confident Nikhat will next be seen at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, spearheading the country’s campaign alongside Tokyo Games bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain. Like other female amateur boxers around the world, Nikhat will also have to move to a new weight class for the Paris 2024 Olympics following the reorganization of divisions by the International Boxing Association (IBA).
Nikhat, who competes in the non-Olympic 52kg weight class, has decided to compete in the 50kg division in Birmingham, where she will make her CWG debut.
At the CWG, Nikhat expects a record four gold medals from India’s 12-member boxing contingent. As for her campaign, she felt her main rivals would be hosts England and neighboring Ireland, including Carly Mc Naul.

Leave a Comment