Nikhat Zareen – India’s New Women’s World Boxing Champion
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.
With this win, she became the fifth Indian women boxer after Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Jenny RL, and Lekha KC to win a gold at the World Championships. 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 favor.
Zareen was in top form as she used her technical acumen and covered to court well to outwit her nimble-footed opponent. She managed to impress all the judges in the first round as she landed far more punches than the Thai boxer. The second round was tighter and Jitpong clinched it 3-2. Needing to get just one judge on her side in the final round, Nikhat Zareen went all in and slammed the door on her opponent to eventually record a 5-0 unanimous decision in her favor.
The Nizamabad (Telangana)-born boxer became the only fifth Indian woman to secure a 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).
It was also India’s first gold medal since boxing great Mary Kom won it in 2018.
“To win a gold in the world championships is something which will act as an inspiration to Muslim girls as well each girl in the country to aim to achieve bigger in life. A kid, where he is boy or girl, has to make their own way and Nikhat has paved her own way,” her father, Mohammad Jameel, a former footballer and cricketer, told The Indian Express.
Congratulations girl! Here’s hoping you have more wins to your name!