Tue, 28 Jun 2022

By Vivek Prabhakar SinghIstanbul [Turkey] May 20, (ANI): India's Nikhat Zareen expressed happiness after Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated her on winning the Women's World Boxing Championships in Turkey on Thursday.

Zareen has become only the fifth Indian woman to achieve this coveted feat. Zareen defeated Thailand's Jitpong Jutamas 5-0 in the flyweight division of the championship.

On this occasion, PM Modi congratulated the newly-crowned IBA Women's World Boxing Champion and wrote motivating words for her on reaching such a feat.

"I was very happy when I got to know that PM Modi congratulated me. PM Modi tweeted for me and wrote motivational words, and these words push you to do better," Nikhat Zareen told ANI.

Speaking about the upcoming Commonwealth Games Zareen said, "I have started preparing for Commonwealth Games. Now my focus will be on winning in CWG and I will have to work hard.""I still can't believe that I won the gold medal in World Championship. I am excited to go back to India and meet my friend and my family. I'm really happy to win this gold medal for my country," she added.

Speaking about the match, Zareen said, "In the second round three judges were in my opponent's favour and then I thought I should not take it easy in the third round. Let's go all out so that was my strategy. And I applied it in the third round and was successful in it."On whether she expected a win by a huge margin, she said that it was unexpected but she wanted to give her best and win unanimously.

"You never know that about can go either way. I did not want to take any chance. So the plan was to win unanimously in the first two rounds and play the third round in a relaxed way," she added.

Indian boxer Nikhat registered a dominating 5-0 victory in the final. 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.

The Nizamabad (Telangana)-born boxer became the only 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 RL (2006) and Lekha KC (2006).

It was also India's first gold medal since boxing great Mary Kom won it in 2018.

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

Out of 12 participating Indian boxers, eight made it to the quarter-finals in this year's tournament--the joint highest alongside Turkey.

With the addition of three medals in Istanbul, India's overall medal tally has gone up to 39, including 10 gold, eight silver and 21 bronze, in the 12 editions of the prestigious event--third highest after Russia (60) and China (50). (ANI)

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