During my last visit to India some of my relatives asked me what I missed most from my life in India in the US. I did not have an immediate answer, but thought about that question off and on for a long time.
Nikhat Zareen, the recently crowned world champion, will make her Common Wealth games debut on Sunday when she competes in the women’s 48-45kg light flyweight division against the
Helena ismael Bagao of Mozambique.
If the 26-years-old defeats the Mozambican fighter she will advance to the quarterfinals with a simple draw against Welsh boxer Helen Jones who is the lower ranked opponent.
Nikhat is excellent in shape because, in May of this year, she made her way to the world championships by defeating Thailand’s Jitpong Jutmas in the fly-weight final in Istanbul.
With the victory, she joined MC Mary Kom, Laishram Sarita Devi, Jenny R. L., and Lekha K. as the only fifth Indian female boxer to achieve the gold medal at the World Championships.
She also became the second Indian boxer to attain a World Championship gold medal outside India after Marry Kom, who did four times out of her six gold medals.
This year, Zareen also triumphed over three time’s European championship medalist Telina Rob of Ukraine to claim the gold medal at the famous Strandja Memorial boxing Tournament in Sofia Bulgaria.
With this victory plus her victory in the world championships, Nikhat became the top boxer in her weight division pound-for-pound.
Nikhat’s reputation will be further enhanced by his gold medal at the Commonwealth games.
He had previously struggled to distinguish himself in weight classes dominated by the legendary Marry Kom.
Having come out of Mary Kom shadow by attaining the gold medal in Istanbul, she has another chance now to form her supremacy as Mary Kom had to pull out of the trials because of an injury.
With age too working against Mary Kom, Nikhat has a chance now to bag a gold medal in Birmingham 2022 and establish herself as India’s best boxer in the 50-52kg weight division.
She had to lose a couple of kilograms for the Commonwealth Games and will again have to gain some weight for the Asian Games in 2023 and the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Winning the gold medal in Birmingham 2022 will certainly boost her confidence ahead of the solid challenges at next year Asian Games and the subsequent Olympics in the French capital.
Nikhat Zareen road to further glory begins on Sunday with the women 50kg division in the Commonwealth Games.
The pugilist from Osmanabad in Telangana needs to catch her
opportunities with both hands and establish her authority on the field to keep her on course to emulate Mary Kom. Is the world without human trafficking still a dream.
(INPUTS FROM IANS)