Singapore finds new world in women’s boxing championships

Anyone could have been disheartened given the state of sport in their country but not Danisha.

Published: 20th March 2023 08:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2023 08:12 AM   |  A+A-

Nikhat Zareen (L) in action against Algeria’s Roumaysa Boualam | Parveen Negi

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Singapore team is one of the newest entrants in the world women’s boxing championships. In fact this is the first time Danisha Mathialagan, who has her roots in Namakkal (Tamil Nadu), and the rest of the Singapore team are at the world event.

Anyone could have been disheartened given the state of sport in their country but not Danisha. She radiates positivity as she explains what keeps her wanting to keep the fire for the sport burning. “I feel I have a solid team. The coaches, who are ex-boxers, have been really supportive. They know how it feels to not have funds, not have enough exposure. I guess, with this, in this new team, we are trying to achieve greater things.”

It’s comprehensible that she’s someone who likes to challenge herself and she has mastered the art of juggling between training, studies and other passions. “It’s about management, juggling between training and studies. I guess that’s the life of a Singaporean athlete because we don’t have funds and we’re not paid to box here. But it’s okay! I’m really enjoying it. You can be really good at one thing but if you can be good at two things, it’s even better right?”

The fact that her parents have started to value her pursuit for combat sport speaks for itself. “Being a daughter, it was a little difficult to get their blessings initially. But they do see that it comes with a lot of discipline, time management. They see that I work very hard and I guess that they’re okay with it. They still haven’t watched me fight in real life, but they are scared that I’ll get hit but I understand...but they are really supporting.”

The last time she visited India was when she was a toddler. She’s happy to soak in the Indian culture here.
“When I was three years old, I visited India. My grandparents are from South India (Namakkal). I understand and speak a little bit of Tamil. I feel a bit of the Indian vibes.”

She draws inspiration from her mother. It also becomes clear why she chose a rewarding passion like embalming. “I definitely look up to my mom. She is so passionate about her nursing job. I have seen her work day and night. She still takes care of her family. She doesn’t really do anything for herself. She is totally selfless. I really look up to her.”

Sky is the limit for someone like Danisha, who embraces challenges with a smile and is not afraid to live life on her own terms.

Nikhat & Manisha cruise
Having missed out on seedings in the ongoing IBA Women’s World Championships, India’s star pugilist Nikhat Zareen had stated that seedings don’t really matter after her first-round win on the opening day of the event. The unseeded Indian, a gold winner in the last edition, attested the same with a victory over No 1 seed, Roumaysa of Algeria, in the 50kg category on Sunday. The Indian started on an attacking note and maintained control of the bout in the remaining two rounds to win by 5-0 verdict, advancing to pre-quarterfinals in the process. “My strategy was to dominate the round as she (Roumaysa) was the top seed... If I beat the top seeds, it sets an impression on the judges,” Nikhat said after the bout. Manisha Moun (57kg) also had no problems beating Australia’s Tina Rahimi later. The 2022 edition bronze medallist won by identical margin (5-0).

India Matters


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