“First tell me, am I trending on Twitter? (laughs) You know, that was one of my dreams, to trend on Twitter and if I am then I’m really happy. “This was Zareen’s First reaction after bagging the Women’s World Boxing Championships defeating Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas 5-0 in the flyweight 52 kgs final in Istanbul. Nikhat is the fifth Indian to win a gold medal at the World Championships. She hails from Telangana.
This is Nikhat’s first World Championships medal and her second gold medal of the year – she had won the Strandja Memorial in February. Nikhat feels this is a step towards her dream of an Olympic medal. “I’m happy and feeling really emotional that I’ve won the gold medal for my country. I will now do my best to fulfill my dream of winning an Olympic medal,” she said. Zareen handed India its first gold in four years, with Mary Kom winning the last in 2018.
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
Talking about the final, where she won the first round but saw Jitpong make a comeback in the second, she said, “I just wanted to give my best and win by unanimous decision. A split decision can go either way, so I did not want to take the chance. The idea was to win the first two rounds by unanimous decision and then take it a little easy in the third round. [But since she won the second round by split decision] I had to go all out in the third round.”
Heartiest congratulations to Nikhat Zareen for the gold medal at Women’s World Boxing Championship. The nation is proud of her. I am confident that her success will motivate our youth, especially girls to realise their dreams. I wish she continues bringing laurels to the country.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) May 19, 2022
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Zareen on her victory on Twitter. “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,” he noted.
On the other hand, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao lauded her and stated, “The CM said it was a proud moment as Nikhat, who hails from Nizamabad district of Telangana, stood as the world boxing champion. The government is motivating sportspersons in all aspects and already taking measures to set up Rural Sports Centers in villages to train young meritorious sportspersons in the state.”
Journey to Success:
Zareen has been on an incredible 12-year journey to the Gold Medal at the World Boxing Championship. She began boxing at the young age of 13 under the mentorship of Shamsamsuddin, who trains boxers on his own in an academy at Nizamabad (Telangana). At a young age, her mentor found the spark of brilliance in Zareen’s eyes and decided to train her for the big stage. Her success becomes even more special as she has defied on her way to glory. She hails from a conservative middle-class family, and being the third sister among the four, it was difficult for her to explore sports as an avenue for her career. But backed by her hard work and determination, she managed to fight all odds and script history by winning Gold at Istanbul. In 2010, just in 6 months since starting her training, Zareen won the Gold Medal in the Telangana State Championship. This was followed by a Gold Medal at the Rural Nationals Championship held in Punjab. Her big break came in 2011 when she won the World Junior and Youth Championship for girls in Antalaya.