“I would like to congratulate Nikhat (Nikhat Zareen), absolutely wonderful and fantastic. This should be a start. We need you to be an Olympic gold medalist. This is your first step towards the Olympic gold. Hope she will work hard over the next two years and get us a gold medal. The entire nation is proud of you. For the world of boxing it is important that you win gold in 2024,” said Singh during a press conference.
“Other two medalists (Manisha and Parveen), we are proud of you, but we expect much more. There is no doubt we have the most expectations from the Women’s boxing team. Just like Lovalina got bronze in Tokyo, we have to do much better in 2024. All three of you are potential medalists. We look forward to celebrating the win with you,” he added.
Indian boxer Nikhat registered a dominating 5-0 victory in the final. Living up to the expectations, Nikhat thrashed Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas without breaking a sweat in the 52kg final with judges scoring the bout 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 in the Indian’s favour.
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. With Manisha (57kg) and Parveen (63kg) signing off with bronze medals after their semi-finals finish, 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 and also marked the 20th anniversary of the Women’s World Championships.
Out of 12 participating Indian boxers, eight made it to the quarter-finals in this year’s tournament–the joint highest alongside Turkey.
With the addition of three medals in Istanbul, India’s overall medal tally has gone up to 39, including 10 gold, eight silver and 21 bronze, in the 12 editions of the prestigious event–third highest after Russia (60) and China (50). (ANI)
first published:May 20, 2022, 5:36 p.m.