Hyderabad: Telangana boxer Nikhat Zareen has gone through numerous hurdles, not just in the ring but off it too to pursue her dream. Whether it is battling injuries or fighting the system to get a shot at the Olympics demanding trial against legendary Mary Kom, she never bogged down from a fight.
And on Thursday, the 25-year-old stands tall as the new world champion. The feeling of becoming the world champion is very emotional moment for the youngster. “This victory is very emotional for me. I have won a gold for the country after a long time. I want to dedicate it to all Indians who supported me through the tough times,” she said from Istanbul.
She was visibly emotional and was in tears after her victory. When asked about the reason, the Nizamabad boxer said, “I was thinking about my parents. Whenever I called them after the bout, they would always be praying for me. I am very happy for them. My father is very supportive. This is all because of my family support. When I was going through tough times, my family supported me a lot. I felt like hugging my parents after the bout. So I became emotional.”
Speaking about her dominating 5-0 victory, she said, “My focus was to win the bout with unanimous decision as split decision could go either way. After the split decision in the second round, I wanted to win big and did that with the third bout.”
Despite becoming the world champion, Nikhat says there is a long way to go. “My focus is firmly on the Paris Olympics. My goal is to win gold in the Olympics. Of course, I focus only on one tournament at a time. My focus was completely on this World Championships. Now, I will shift my focus to the Commonwealth Games,” she explained.
She also said that the challenges throughout her journey made her a tough individual. “I suffered an injury in 2017 and was out of boxing for a year. Then I came back and struggled. I missed the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2018. It was a tough period. But I decided to keep fighting and that is what made me who I am today.”
Nikhat was all excited when she was told that she was trending on Twitter. “Am I trending on Twitter? That is one of my dreams. I am very excited,” she said with a wide grin.
She also revealed that she worked hard on her game in the last two years. “The last two years, I focused on myself and worked on my weaknesses. I knew where I lagged and lost bouts. So I worked on them and I made myself strong,” she concluded