India’s Nikhat Zareen wins gold at Women’s World Boxing Championships | boxing news

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India’s Nikhat Zareen won the gold medal in the 52kg category at the Women’s World Boxing Championship with a victory over Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas in the flyweight final in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday. Nikhat thus becomes only the fifth Indian boxer after Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Jenny RL and Lekha KC to win a gold medal at the World Championships. Zareen, 25, is a former world junior junior champion. Against her Thai opponent in the final, Nikhat fought brilliantly and won the gold medal. The judges scored the fight 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 in favor of the Indian.

Zareen was in great shape as she used her technical acumen and covered well to outsmart her nimble-footed opponent. Nikhat managed to impress all the judges in the first round by landing significantly more punches than the Thai boxer. The second round was closer and Jitpong won it 3-2. Needing only one judge by his side in the final round, Nikhat went all-in and slammed the door on his opponent to ultimately record a 5-0 unanimous decision in his favor.

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The Nizamabad (Telangana) born boxer became the only fifth Indian woman to win gold 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.

Nikhat got off to a spirited start and landed a few sharp punches to quickly get the upper hand in the opening three minutes against confident Jutamas, who came into the match beating three-time World Championships medalist Kazakhstan Zhaina Shekerbekova.

The 25-year-old Indian took full advantage of her long reach and maintained her dominance against the Thai boxer, whom she defeated in the 2019 Thailand Open semi-final, the only meeting between the two, in road to his silver medal.

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However, Jutamas attempted to retaliate in the second round with a counter-attacking display, but barely managed to cause trouble for the fast-moving Nikhat, who looked in complete control.

Hitting straight and clear shots, strength proved to be a key factor as Nikhat threw caution to the wind on the final round and continued to attack relentlessly before claiming gold quite comfortably.

“Winning a medal at the world championships is always a dream and Nikhat being able to achieve it so soon is extremely commendable. We at BFI are proud that our boxers have not only made us all proud, but each of their boxing journeys is a source of inspiration for future generations,” said BFI Chairman Ajay Singh.

“On behalf of the Indian Boxing Federation, I congratulate Nikhat and Bronze medalists Parveen and Manisha along with the coaches and support staff on this achievement. Our eight boxers qualified for the quarter-finals which were the more common and show Indian boxing strength,” he added.

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With Manisha (57kg) and Parveen (63kg) picking up bronze medals after their semi-finals, the Indian contingent concluded their campaign with three medals at the world’s biggest boxing event, which witnessed a exciting competition in the presence of 310 record boxers from 73 countries. and also marked the 20th anniversary of the Women’s World Championships.

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Out of 12 participating Indian boxers, eight reached the quarter-finals of this year’s tournament, the highest with Turkey.

With the addition of three medals in Istanbul, India’s medal tally rose to 39, including 10 gold, eight silver and 21 bronze, in the 12 editions of the prestigious event, the third after Russia (60) and China (50).

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