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Target is gold, but every medal counts: Nikhat Zareen ahead of IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships


By Vipul KashyapNew Delhi [India], March 10 (ANI): Boxer Nikhat Zareen, the defending IBA Women’s World Boxing Champion in the 50 kg category, said that she is fully prepared for the tournament and she hopes to clinch a gold this time around, even though each and every medal counts for her.

The Championships will be held from March 15 to 26 at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi.

“I am fully prepared for the tournament. The preparation is in the full swing. I hope this year I do well. My last year was great. My target is gold but each and every medal counts,” said Zareen to ANI.

Nikhat is extremely confident about her performance.

“I know that there are few days left for the tournament, but I am ready for it physically and mentally and am completely fit,” said Nikhat.

Nikhat said that she hopes that Bollywood star Salman Khan catches the action live and motivates women boxers.

“I really want that he comes to watch our matches and if I reach the finals, he motivates me by watching my matches from the stands. I would feel really happy,” said Nikhat.

2020 Tokyo Bronze medallist, Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) has two World Championships bronze medals to her name so far and will join seven other Olympic medallists boxing for glory in the upcoming Championships.

Nikhat Zareen, on the other hand, will defend her title in the 50kg category. She became the world champion in the 2022 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships held in Istanbul, Turkey.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nitu Ghanghas will also represent the country in the 48kg category. The two-time Youth World Champion will look to add yet another major medal to her name.

Manisha Moun who announced herself on the global stage with impressive performances at the 2018 World Championships in Delhi will be representing the country in the highly competitive 57kg featherweight category. Manisha won the bronze medal at the 2022 World Championships.

2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria has been a quarter-finalist in the 2022 edition and will box in the 60kg category.

Young pugilists Preeti and Sanamacha Chanu will represent India in the 54kg and 70 kg categories respectively. Preeti won a bronze medal at the 2022 Asian Championships whereas Sanamcha is the 2021 Youth World Champion and recently became the National Champion in her category.

The reigning Asian and national champion Saweety Boora will be competing in the 81kg weight category. The experienced campaigner, who won a silver medal in the 2014 World Championships in South Korea will be eager to continue her impressive form to add to her medal tally.

Youth World Champions Sakshi Chaudhary (52kg) and Shashi Chopra (63kg) along with 2019 South Asian Games gold medallist Manju Bamboria (66kg) will be eager to prove their mettle in their respective categories at the World Championships.

In the 81kg heavyweight category, India’s medal hopes will be shouldered by the reigning National Champion Nupur Sheoran.

The event will see a total prize pool of Rs 20 crore – Rs 10 crores being the pool for gold medallists. Boxers who finish as runners-up in their categories as well as those who claim bronze will receive their prizes from pools of Rs 5 crores respectively.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) will be hosting the Women’s World Boxing Championships for the third time, most ever by any country since the tournament’s inception and a total of 350 boxers, including the 12 Indians, from 74 countries have registered so far for this biennial event.

Indian Squad- Nitu Ghanghas (48kg), Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (52kg), Preeti (54kg), Manisha Moun (57kg), Jaismine Lamboria (60kg), Shashi Chopra (63kg), Manju Bamboria (66kg), Sanamcha Chanu (70kg), Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), Saweety Boora (81kg) and Nupur Sheoran (81kg). (ANI)