Saweety looks to display gold mettle

Having confirmed her second World C’ships medal, Haryana’s pugilist hoping to sign off with top finish

Published: 25th March 2023 11:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2023 02:19 PM   |  A+A-

Saweety Boora

Saweety Boora

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In a sport that throws gruelling challenges, Saweety Boora has survived at the elite level of women’s boxing for close to a decade now. A senior member of the current team, the 30-year-old has endured numerous battles over the last 10 years or so. Despite being around for long, she has always tended to be in the background due to various reasons. Other established boxers have outshone her and the fact that she has blown hot and cold (over the said period) has also not helped her case.

In her very first World Championships just over eight years ago, Saweety had shown her aptitude for the sport by clinching a silver medal to help salvage India’s campaign in Jeju City, Korea. The following year, she repeated the feat in the Asian Championships. Any athlete would have taken that start willingly. The Haryana boxer could not have validated her talent in a better fashion then. However, the rigours of training and competitions seemed to be testing her, both physically and mentally. She was unable to find that level of consistency (that all athletes across sports aspire for) which could have possibly elevated her to the foreground.

Despite all that, she maintained faith in her craft. She knew her chance would arrive sooner or later. With experience over the years, she added layers to her game and mind had also naturally evolved. She shifted to the 81kg category from the 75kg category late last year (in a way she was forced to as the more-renowned Lovlina Borgohain stepped up). But that has worked in her favour. That was a tried and tested category where she had returned with the aforementioned medals. She’s now operating with a free mind. “I have learnt to not take pressure and that is working for me. I’m playing with a free mind,” Saweety, who’s taking part in the marquee event for the sixth time (2014, 2016, 2018-19, 2022 and 2023), said.

“If I take pressure, then things won’t go well. I have done my homework, I knew I could do well and I did just that.” That mantra is proving to be beneficial. In the 2022 Asian Championships, she was one of the gold medallists. In the ongoing IBA Women’s World Championships in New Delhi, she is now just one win away from bettering her Jeju City feat.

“I feel confident fighting in this weight category. I feel healthy and that is reflecting on my performance. I feel comfortable, strong and I’m really hoping to win the gold medal this time,” Saweety, who has taken part in the middleweight category (75kg) thrice (including 2022) in the event, assessed. China’s Wang Lina will have aspirations of her own. She is familiar with the venue here having muscled to victory in the 2018 edition. Saweety has never crossed paths so she will sit with the coaches to arrive at a plan. “I have never met her. So, I’ll sit with the coaches and try to devise a plan. I don’t know much about her game but the thing is she also doesn’t know my game. So let’s see how it goes. I’ll do my best,” Saweety noted.

Indian fans have been making their presence felt in the championship. Saweety’s family (her brother and sister and her husband Deepak Hooda, who’s a well-established kabaddi player) have also been vocal, egging her on from the stands. The fans and her family members will be hoping that she can sign off with a gold medal around her neck.

India Matters


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