India’s Nikhat Zareen won the gold medal in the 52kg category at the Women’s World Boxing Championship with a win over Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas in the fly-weight final in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday. The 25-year-old Zareen is a former junior youth world champion. Against her Thai opponent in the final, Nikhat fought with brilliance and brought home the gold medal. The judges scored the bout 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 in the Indian’s favour.
Zareen was in top form as she used her technical acumen and covered to court well to outwit her nimble-footed opponent. Nikhat managed to impress all the judges in the first round as she landed far more punches than the Thai boxer.
It was also India’s first gold medal since boxing great Mary Kom won it in 2018. The Nizamabad (Telangana)-born boxer became the only fifth Indian woman to secure gold medal at the World Boxing Championships after record six-time champion Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2018), Sarita Devi (2006), Jenny RL (2006) and Lekha KC (2006).
‘Am I trending on Twitter? That was one of my dreams’
After the win, Nikhat was congratulated on Twitter by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other top personalities. She was also elated to learn that she was trending on Twitter.
“Am I trending on Twitter? That was one of my dreams,” an elated Nikhat told mediapersons during a virtual interaction.
“When I won the gold medal, I first remembered my parents because they have done so much in making me a boxer.”
Hitting straight and clear punches, strength proved to be a key factor as Nikhat threw caution to the wind in the final round and kept attacking relentlessly before securing the gold quite comfortably.
With Manisha (57kg) and Parveen (63kg) signing off with bronze medals after their semi-finals finish, the Indian contingent concluded its campaign with three medals at the world’s biggest boxing event, which witnessed exciting competition in presence of record 310 boxers from 73 countries.