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'Teared Up as I Was Thinking of My Parents After Victory,' Says Emotional Nikhat

Nikhat outpunched negativity and trolls with her sheer determination and passion for the sport.

Updated
Boxing
3 min read
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The whole nation today is celebrating the success of Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen, who on Thursday scripted history by clinching the gold medal in the Women's World Boxing Championships. However, the journey of the young pugilist hasn't been easy as she has gone through a lot in the last couple of years.

Those who know the boxer or have followed her journey closely can explain how she also out-punched negativity and trolls with her sheer determination and passion for the sport.

In 2019, Nikhat was trending on social media but for all 'not so good' reasons. She was being mocked online after she wrote to Sports minister Kiren Rijiju to be allowed a fair trial against 6-time World Champion M.C Mary Kom for a spot in the team for Olympic qualifiers.

The young boxer was brutally trolled on social media for her 'fair' appeal. She later did get the bout but lost it 1-9 to the legendary boxer. Mary even refused to shake hands with her after the bout.

Facing severe backlash for having 'challenged the supremacy' of another of Indian sports' sweethearts, Nikhat chose to maintain her silence and stayed away from the limelight, rather choosing to focus on her training.

On Thursday, Nikhat was again trending on Twitter, and the boxer was elated as it was her dream to trend once again.

"I'm trending on Twitter? It was one of my dreams to trend on Twitter! If I'm really trending right now, then I'm really happy," said Nikhat in her online press conference after her victory.

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While the trials and tribulation were going on, the fire was burning within and the 25-year-old pugilist was waiting for her chance. And the time came in 2022. Nikhat was already looking set to have a big year when in February she defeated the Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, but soon after MC Mary Kom also announced her decision not to compete at the World Championship or Asian Games this year. Nikhat went about her business, fought in the trials and qualified as the Indian contender in the flyweight category for both events.

She trained well despite the Covid-19 break, which resulted in seeing a new Nikhat inside the ring. Her speed, flexibility, and power were unmatched. The hunger to win was so much that she won all her bouts unanimously at the World Championships. No opponent could manage to stand against her.

World Champion Nikhat Zareen celebrating her win.

(Photo: BAI)

And on Thursday, she registered a dominating 5-0 victory to bag gold in Istanbul. 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.

As ruthless as she was during the bout, as soon as her victory was announced Nikhat was seen tearing up as she celebrated her life's biggest victory.

'I was thinking of my parents. Whenever I used to call after my wins, my mother would be coming back after saying her prayers for me. Today, almighty has made her dreams come true and I am very happy. Everyone knows how supportive my father also is,' Nikhat said when asked about who she was thinking of in that moment.

'This win is all because of my family’s support. I remember when I was going through bad times, no-one was on my side except my parents and my family. After my bout, I just wished to hug them,' she added.

The Nizamabad (Telangana)-born boxer became only the 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 R.L (2006) and Lekha K.C (2006). It was also India's first gold medal since boxing great Mary Kom won it in 2018.

As she was trending again, this time the tagline is, "All Hail The New World Champion #punchmayhaidum".

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(With inputs from IANS)

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