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Ultimate goal is to create Paris Olympics history, says Nikhat Zareen

Nikhat Zareen, who has become the fifth Indian woman to win a gold medal at the World Boxing Championships, vows to hit harder for the Olympics.

Zareen won a gold medal after beating Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas in the 52kg final of the 12th edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in Turkey, Istanbul.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Zareen said, “Very happy to win the medal for the country. When my hand was up in the final fight, I was both happy and emotional to win the gold medal. for the country.”

“My journey has been very difficult, almost like a roller coaster with ups and downs. However, I never gave up, I kept working hard and all that hard work finally paid off,” a- she declared.

“My ultimate goal is the Paris Olympics, but I’m focusing on each competition step by step. So now I’m looking forward to the Common Wealth Games,” added Zareen.

Before Zareen, Sarita Devi (2006), Jenny RL (2006), Lekha KC (2006) and Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2018) won the world boxing championships.

This victory, however, came after a crushing defeat for Zareen – a loss that reshaped her.

The Mary Kom Episode

In 2019, Nikhat Zareen was among the most vocal boxers who opposed Mary Kom’s automatic selection for the World Championships. She said no boxer, whether rookie or superstar, should be chosen without a contest.

Reacting to Zareen’s comments, Kom said rhetorically, “Who is Nikhat Zareen? I don’t know who she is. While Nikhat’s request was ignored at the time as Mary had already qualified for the India Open Championships, the two boxers faced off for the Olympic qualifiers.

Mary Kom picked up an easy win over Zareen, beating the latter 9-1.

Following her loss to Mary Kom, Ronald Simms, former coach of the US Air Force team, supports her. She trained at the Inspire Institute of Sports in Vijaynagar with Simms. Those close to Zareen say losing to Kom lit a fire inside her, a Sportstar report said.

Later, in 2019, she won a silver medal at the Thailand Open. In the same year, she won a bronze medal at the Asian Championships, another bronze at the Indian Open and a gold medal at the Strandja Memorial.

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