• Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

In national women’s boxing, Nikhat Zareen and Lovlina Borgohain stamp authority.

ByJosh Taylor

Dec 27, 2022

While one woman’s dream year came to an end, the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist demonstrated that she was settling into a higher weight category in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Nikhat Zareen has had an extraordinary year. She has persevered in pursuing her ambitions. Zareen has established herself as a rising star in international boxing after becoming a world and Commonwealth Games champion this year. Her whole attention is now on the Paris Olympics, and next year will be crucial in that regard. She will defend her world championship title at home in March and hopes to qualify for the Olympics as well.
The first stage was to reduce from flyweight to light flyweight (50kg), the Olympic level (52kg). Zareen, who earned a CWG medal in 50kg in Birmingham, competed in the same class in the senior national championships in Bhopal and won gold on Monday. It was her third national victory, but it didn’t come easily as she faced great competition in the final from Anamika Hooda.
Anamika is the type of boxer Zareen dislikes competing against. Anamika, the petite Haryana fighter who won a juvenile world medal, used her aggressive, close-range technique to push Zareen before falling 1-4.
The fight was rough, and Anamika, who loves to throw punches from a great distance, gave Zareen little room as she raced in and struck furiously. The referee gave a caution for clinching and deducted Zareen a point. In the third round, the world champion delivered clean blows to end the fight.
“It was a wonderful year for me, winning three straight international gold medals and finishing with the Elite women’s national championship gold medal,” said Zareen, who won her first national title in 2015.
Zareen has matured after patiently waiting for her chance under the shadow of MC Mary Kom. Because of the wealth of skill at home, she will have to be on her toes, as Railways boxer Anamika displayed.
Bitter fight
Olympic bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain won the national championship, demonstrating that she has begun to find her range in a new weight group. Borgohain’s journey has not been easy. She is currently testing the waters after moving from welterweight (69kg) to middleweight (75kg). She made a major statement in Bhopal by easily defeating global young champion and main challenger Arundhati Chaudhary in the final.
Borgohain, who just won gold at the Asian Championships, radiated confidence as he tackled Arundhati’s aggressiveness from a distance and landed good straight punches. Chaudhary, who had dragged the Boxing Federation of India to court for failing to perform selection trials for Lovlina, exited the ring angry. She did not shake Lovlina’s hand or come to collect her.
The other three Olympic weight classes saw fierce rivalry. There were even a few surprises. In the 60kg final, Poonam of Railways defeated Simranjit Kaur 3-2. Simranjit has dominated the category and competed in the Tokyo Olympics, although Poonam has shown determination from the start. Simranjit was caught off guard by her strong hooks.
There were some intriguing battles in the 66kg weight division. Ankushita Boro had earlier upset world championships bronze medalist Parveen Hooda, but lost the final 4-1 to Manju Bamboria. Manisha Moun, another world championship bronze medalist, maintained her impressive return in 57kg, defeating Vinakshi 5-0 in the final. Shiksha outweighed Sunita in 54kg.
“There were a lot of fascinating talents at the national championships, and the competition was extremely good,” women’s coach Bhaskar Bhatt remarked. “Several boxers have changed to the Olympic weight class since next year will be the start of a new cycle. The world championships in Delhi will provide an excellent opportunity for these fighters to evaluate their abilities. It’s great that competition is so fierce at home, and that so many young people want to make it big.”

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