India’s Nikhat Zarin made history by becoming the fifth Indian woman to win gold at the Women’s Boxing World Championships in Istanbul. She was previously disqualified for giving that place to Mary Kom, another world-winning female Indian boxer, on the morning of the 2019 World Championships in the trials. The Telangana boxer faced controversy after she lodged a complaint with the National Boxing Federation. Her dream of the Olympics was shattered when she lost to Mary Kom in a trial at the Tokyo Olympics last year. This time this female boxer from Nizamabad is returning home with a gold medal around her neck.
She defeated Jitpong Jutamas of Thailand 5-0 on the stage of that world championship on Thursday. In the flyweight division (52kg), Nikhat cornered her opponent with her famous upper hand jab from the start. Six-time world champion Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Jenny RL and Lekha C returned gold from the Women’s Boxing World Championships before Nikhat. Nikhat is the fifth Indian to win the title. Nikhat has been congratulated in the media by Harbhajan Singh, Rani Rampal, Bollywood star Farhan Akhtar, Beijing Olympics medallist Vijay Singh. The Prime Minister and the President also congratulated her.
Nikhat is already going through success this year. Last February, she became the first Indian woman to win double gold in the Strandza Memorial Boxing Championship. In the oldest boxing event in Europe, she defeated silver medallist in Tokyo Olympics Bush Naz Kakiraroglu and three-time European champion Tatiana Bob. She had been a junior world champion in the past. This time, the boxer who won bronze in the Asian Championship in 2019, set a precedent by becoming the world champion in the senior division in flyweight. The 25-year-old boxer was the only Indian to reach the final of this year’s World Championships. She became the junior world champion in 2011 at the age of just 14. After 11 years, Nikhat won the gold at the Senior World Championships. She is her family’s third child and her father Mohammad Jamil wanted Nikhat to be an athlete. But due to the interest of Nikhat’s uncle Shamsuddin, Nikhat was removed from athletics and sent to boxing.
Nikhat’s dominance in this year’s competition in Istanbul was at its peak. She won the first three bouts 5-0. She also won the final with the same result. It means every judge has recognized her superiority. In the past, she had been criticized for being defensive. Before the final, Nikhat said, “I like to play in an aggressive and counter-aggressive mood now. For which I have worked hard in practice.” “Nikhat is playing in a much more aggressive mood than before,” said Bhaskar Bhatt, the head coach of the Indian team. Ali Kamar, another coach of the Indian women’s boxing team was surprised to see the final match of Nikhat in an aggressive mood. He said, “I have never seen Nikhat play in such an aggressive mood before. In the final, she attacked the opponent from the beginning.”