So Proud of You: Mary Kom Congratulates Nikhat Zareen After World C'ship Gold
Nikhat Zareen won her first World Championship Gold medal at Istanbul on Thursday.
Nikhat Zareen’s World Championship Gold medal has had the Indian sporting fraternity celebrating her achievement, with sportspersons from various walks wishing her. The legendary Mary Kom too wished her on Friday on social media. Mary herself is a six-time World Champion.
“Congratulations @nikhat_zareen for winning Gold medal. So proud of you on your historic performances and all the best for your future endeavors,” Mary tweeted.
Only 3 others, apart from Mary and Nikhat, have won the World title for India and only Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2018) had done it overseas.
Sarita Devi (2006), Jenny RL (2006), and Lekha KC (2006) are the others and Nikhat is now part of an elite group of boxers in the country.
It was also India's first gold medal since boxing great Mary Kom last won it in 2018. The Gold medal means so far Nikhat is unbeaten this year as well.
This was Nikhat's second appearance at a World Championship, but the first in her preferred flyweight category.
She broke into the scene back in 2011 by winning the gold medal at the Junior World Boxing Championships but has since been biding her time as Indian boxing legend MC Mary Kom also competes in the same category as Nikhat's. The 25-year-old was forced to write to the Sports Minister to ask for his intervention in 2019 when she was denied a trial for the World Championships with Mary being declared the automatic qualifier.
'I was ready for the bout and all warmed up and they came and told me there will be no trial in the flyweight category. That really hurt me, it made me feel like I wasn't even good enough to try to compete,' Nikhat told The Quint in an interview in May.
However, after much controversy, there was a trial but not for the World Championship- for the Tokyo Olympics, that Mary won with ease. A bout that was shrouded in controversy with both sides flinging allegations of poor sportsmanship after the match.
Three years have since past and this 2022, Nikhat has been winning some big bouts to put forward her name as the premier contender in the flyweight category, having won the nationals and the trials for the World Championships and the Asian Games.
In February, she beat the Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Busenaz Cakiroglu to bag the gold at the 73rd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
(With IANS Inputs)
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