The 25-year-old boxer from southern Telangana state beat Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas at the World Women’s Boxing Championships in Istanbul.
A 25-year-old boxer from the southern Indian state of Telangana has become the fifth Indian woman to win a gold medal in a world championship.
Nikhat Zareen defeated Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas in the 52kg flyweight category on Thursday at the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
When the name of the new world flyweight champion was called, Zareen punched the air, hugged her opponent and burst into tears.
” It is finally here. The culmination of years of hard work and perseverance,” she tweeted on Friday. “India, this one’s for you. We made it, together.
𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐 𝐖𝐎𝐑𝐋𝐃 𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐌𝐏𝐈𝐎𝐍! 🥇
— Nikhat Zareen (@nikhat_zareen) May 20, 2022
The former world junior champion is the fifth Indian boxer after MC Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Jenny RL and Lekha KC to win a gold medal at the world championships.
In 2019, when Zareen demanded a fair trial against legendary Indian boxer Mary Kom after she was denied a chance to try out for the Tokyo Olympics, the latter asked, “Who is Nikhat Zareen?”
Three years later, Zareen is world champion – winning India’s first gold medal since Mary Kom won it in 2018.
After her victory on Thursday, Zareen told a press conference that she would dedicate the medal to all the compatriots who have supported her throughout her career.
Zareen also said it was her dream to follow the trend on Twitter.
“Am I trending on Twitter? It’s always been my dream to be trending on Twitter and achieving something for my country globally is the biggest motivation,” she said.
A young woman from Nizamabad does more for Indian pride and glory than all the pseudo-nationalists who pollute my timeline with their vicious diatribes against minorities. I salute you Nikhat Zareen for winning gold in the boxing world championship. Come on girl, come on 🇮🇳! pic.twitter.com/jCTiZ52kz2
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) May 19, 2022
The Muslim boxer, who hails from a middle-class family background in the city of Nizamabad in Telangana, said she had to overcome various difficulties to carve out a place for herself in boxing.
“I had to work hard and overcome obstacles including saying that boxing is not for women. I had to tell people that nothing will happen to my face and my beauty will be intact,” she said. last year during the launch of a campaign by sportswear giant Adidas.
“Those words spoke to me and I wanted to go out there and prove that boxing doesn’t care if you’re male or female. It’s desire and aspiration that should count. For me, boxing is more about attitude and my sense of pride.
Fighting his way through Islamophobia, misogyny and a shoulder injury, Nikhat Zareen from Nizamabad is now WORLD CHAMPION! That too in his first attempt. 💪💪💪 pic.twitter.com/sCBd7GHP2b
— Karan Tripathi ️ (@TripathiGee) May 19, 2022
Zareen joined boxing at the age of 13 in 2010. Within six months, she won a state championship gold medal. Only a year later, she won the gold medal at the 2011 Junior and Junior World Girls’ Championships in Antalya, Turkey.
Zareen’s family are delighted with their historic victory on Thursday, again in Turkey.
“Winning a gold medal at the world championships is something that will inspire Muslim girls as well as every girl in the country to aim for greater in life. A child whether he is a boy or a girl has to make his own way and Nikhat has paved his own way,” Zareen’s father, Jameel Ahmed, was quoted by The Indian Express as saying.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Zareen.
“Our boxers have made us proud! Congratulations to Nikhat Zareen on her fantastic gold medal at the Women’s World Boxing Championship,” Modi wrote on Twitter.
“I also congratulate Manisha Moun and Parveen Hooda for their bronze medals in the same competition,” added the Indian leader.
“One for the history books,” the Indian Boxing Federation tweeted. “Nikhat Zareen continues her gold streak… Well done, world champion.”
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