Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen created the history by clinching gold medal in the 12th edition of the Women’s World Boxing Championship that held in Istanbul Turkey on Thursday, May 19th, 2022.
She registered a comfortable 5-0 victory over Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas in the fly-weight (52 Kg category) final and thrashed Jutmas without breaking a sweat with judges scoring the bout 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 in the India’s favour.
In addition to Nikhat, Manisha Moon and debutant Parveen Hood also won a bronze medal each in the 57 and 63 categories. A 12-member Indian contingent was sent to participate in the competition.
With registering this victory, Nikhat became only the fifth boxer of India to be crowned world champion and the winner of prestigious gold 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).
Night Zareen Early Days
Nikhat was born born to Mohammad Jameel Ahmed and Parveen Sultana on June 14th, 1995, in Nizamabad, Telangana, where she also completed her schooling from Nirmala Hrudaya Girls High School. She is pursuing a degree in Bachelor in Art at A.V. College in Hyderabad.
She has given the entire credit of her success to her parents. As the winner was announced Zareen couldn’t control her emotions and jumped with glee. She said that at that time she was thinking about her parents, who were the only ones with her during the bad times and she feels so proud and happy thinking about her parents.
There were many hurdles that come her way of becoming a boxer. She also revealed that being born in an Islamic household in Nizamabad, she had to endure and overcome the age-old patriarchal belief of boxing not being well suited for women.
Marry Kom vs Nikhat Zareen Controversy
Back in 2019 a controversy erupted before World Boxing Championship. Nikhat alleged a selection bias in the Boxing Federation (BFI) choice for the Olympics when Mary was selected without any trials in the 51-kg category to represent India at the Women’s World Boxing Championship and Nikhat was hoping to challenge Mary in the 51- kg trials.
Nikhat went on to write a letter to the federation as well as Sports Minister Kiran Rijiju asking them for a trial. Meanwhile, Mary won the Bronze at the World Championship and federation chose to go ahead with her for the Olympics qualifiers in Feb 2020.
After lot of hustle, BFI eventually decided to conduct trials for each weight category to decide who would go to the Olympic qualifiers. Finally, after months of drama, Nikhat was given a chance to fight Mary for a spot in the Indian team for Tokyo Olympics. The showdown turned out to ve a largely one-sided affair, with Mary defeating Zareen in a split-verdict trial.
Nikhat achievement so much before becoming a Wold Boxing champion. Here are the list of tournament where the star boxer has won medals bofore.
- Gold in AIBA Women’s Junior and Youth World Boxing Championship, held in Turkey, in 2014
- Silver in the Youth Boxing World Championship held in Bulgaria in 2014
- Gold in the 2014 Nations Cup International Boxing Tournament, held in Novi Sad, Serbia
- God at the 16th Senior Woman National Boxing Championship in 2015 in Assam
- Silver at the Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament held at Bangkok in 2019
- Gold at Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament, held in Sofia, Bulgaria (2019)
- Gold at Strandija Memorial Boxing Tournament, held in Sofia, Bulgaria (2022)
Apart from winning medals, she has also been appointed as the staff officer in the Bank of India zonal office at AC Guards, Hyderabad.
Country’s PM, leaders to iconic sportspersons praise her on social media:
Our boxers have made us proud! Congratulations to @nikhat_zareen for a fantastic Gold medal win at the Women's World Boxing Championship. I also congratulate Manisha Moun and Parveen Hooda for their Bronze medals in the same competition. pic.twitter.com/dP7p59zQoS
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 19, 2022
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) May 20, 2022
Congratulations @nikhat_zareen on becoming the only 5th Indian woman boxer to win GOLD MEDAL at World Championship!
She won the very prestigious World Championship GOLD at Istanbul in Turkey.
We are extremely proud of your huge achievement for India🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/qVFp2NkZbM
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) May 19, 2022
Nikhat active on social media:
View this post on Instagram
In my own element💫💙 pic.twitter.com/cbTDAsndLP
— Nikhat Zareen (@nikhat_zareen) April 1, 2022