Boxing champion Nikhat Zareen reigns again

Telangana’s pride made us smile again when she bagged gold at the recent Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022
Nikhat with her father and sister Jameel Ahmed and Dr Anjum Meenaz
Nikhat with her father and sister Jameel Ahmed and Dr Anjum Meenaz

HYDERABAD: The Indian contingent restored our faith with back-to-back medals at the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games. One such star who stole the show with her brilliant performance was boxing queen Nikhat Zareen who clinched gold for the country yet again. Striking gold again, after her World Championship win, was no cakewalk for the athlete but constant dedication and practice brought her the dream win.

Speaking about her victory, the excited champion says, “It feels great to win a gold medal for my country at the Commonwealth Games. This is my third gold this year and it feels good to win back-to-back gold medals, it reinstates confidence in myself.”

Talking about the game and how challenging it was to compete in the boxing ring with others, she explains, “It was very challenging because I won a gold medal at the World Championships which was in the 52kg category, but in Commonwealth Games I participated in the 50kg one for which, I had to train separately to lose two kilograms of weight. It sure was tough to maintain my fitness in that category — I had to prepare myself to maintain the same kind of strength that I had when I was 52. I have been to Ireland for two weeks to train with other boxers which helped me do better in the game.”

For Nikhat, maintaining a fitness routine wasn’t her favourite bit, but she fought hard and sacrificed to give up a lot of things she liked to get to where she is today. “I had to cut down on all the sugar and fat items, especially rice and sweets. Because of the game, I had to sacrifice everything I loved so much. As they say, no pain no gain, I saw the pain of giving up on a lifestyle and food I love and am used to so much. But honestly, the gain surpasses the pain,” says she.

The foodie that she is, we ask her what was the first thing she wanted to gorge on once she clinched god and she responds, “I craved biryani badly, I even called my mother and informed her that when I come back to Hyderabad, the first thing that I’d like to have is biryani. She cooked an elaborate meal all for me and I was elated to be able to eat to my heart’s content after a long time.”

Speaking about the competitors she had to face in the game, she says, “The boxers from England and Ireland were very good at their game — I had to work harder to keep at it and managed to win. I’m blessed to have a consistent gold run, winning all the bowls by unanimous decision. I think I dominated all the three rounds and that was my strategy to clinch gold.”

Nikhat says she dedicates the win to her mother and says with a smile, “I promised her that I would gift her a gold medal for her birthday and here it is!” If there’s one thing that the national inspiration would say to people who look up to her, she says, “When you have a dream to achieve something in your life, just keep working hard, believe in yourself, never give up and just keep going.” Nikhat is currently preparing for the upcoming Asian championships that will commence in October and seeks the love, support and prayers of her countrymen.

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The New Indian Express