Nikhat Zareen with the rest of the Indian squad and support staff after winning the gold medal (Image courtesy: BFI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated boxer Nikhat Zareen who won the gold medal at the Women's World Championship in the 52 kg category after convincingly defeating Thailand's Jitpong Jutamas in a brilliant final at Istanbul in Turkey on Thursday.
"Our boxers have made us proud! Congratulations to Nikhat Zareen for a fantastic Gold medal win at the Women's World Boxing Championship," tweeted PM Modi last night.
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
The Prime Minister also congratulated Manisha Moun and Parveen Hooda for winning bronze medals at the same event.
Nikhat joined the ranks of her compatriots Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Jenny RL and Lekha KC to make India proud of a fabulous five gold-winning women's list at the World Championships. The victory is also India's first gold medal since boxing great Mary Kom won the title in 2018.
The 25-year-old Nikhat, a former junior youth world champion, used both brain and brawn to outclass her quick-footed Thai opponent and bring home the gold medal for India.
Nikhat won the first round convincingly with her aggressive punching. However, the Thai boxer fought back to win the second round in a close 3-2 contest.
Nikhat then went all out in the final round and was at her aggressive best to clinch a 5-0 unanimous decision in her favour.
The Nizamabad (Telangana)-born boxer became the only fifth Indian woman to secure gold medal at the World Boxing Championships after record six-time champion Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2018), Sarita Devi (2006), Jenny RL (2006) and Lekha KC (2006).
Nikhat got off to a lively start and hit some sharp punches to quickly take the upper hand in the opening three minutes against confident Jutamas, who came into the match defeating the three-time World Championships medallist Kazakhstan's Zhaina Shekerbekova.
The 25-year-old Indian took full advantage of her long reach and maintained her dominance against the Thai boxer, whom she had beaten in the 2019 Thailand Open semi-final; the only meeting between the two, enr oute her silver medal finish.
However, Jutamas tried to fight back in the second round with a counter-attacking display but hardly managed to cause any trouble for the swift-moving Nikhat, who looked in complete control.
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
With Manisha (57kg) and Parveen (63kg) signing off with bronze medals after their semi-finals finish, Indian contingent concluded its campaign with three medals at the world's biggest boxing event, which witnessed exciting competition in presence of record 310 boxers from 73 countries and also marked the 20th anniversary of the Women's World Championships.
Also Read: India’s Nikhit Zareen wins Gold at Women’s World Boxing Championship to make it Fab Five