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It was my dream to trend on Twitter, says world champ Nikhat Zareen


After becoming only the fifth Indian woman boxer to become world champion, Nikhat Zareen, 25, spoke about her Olympics dream.

Excerpts from her press conference after her win.

On her win and the expectations

Inshallah, I will work hard like this and try to give my best to win a medal in the Paris Olympics. I would dedicate this medal to all my countrymen who supported me throughout my career. Am I trending on Twitter? It was always my dream to be a trend on Twitter and to achieve something for my country at the world level is the biggest motivation

On challenges in last two years

The last two years were really difficult for every boxer as we could not train due to Covid-19. I was doing individual training as I have a personal gym at my home. But yes, after all those hardships and challenges, I am there as a world champion today. I am glad that I could win the gold medal for the country. Right now, preparations have begun for Paris 2024 but I will focus by seeing it as one competition at a time step by step.

On winning the senior world title 11 years after winning the world youth title in Turkey

Turkey has been lucky for me and I won the world youth title here and also won a medal in the Bosphorus International last year here. So I am glad to make it third time lucky here. To become the world champion is my best memory from here. Regarding the Olympic weight category, I still have not thought about whether it will be 50kg or 54 kg in the Olympics. In CWG trials, I will be competing in 50kg and I will be preparing for that weight and will try to maintain that weight category.

On changing weight category for Paris 2024 Olympics

It’s difficult to change a weight category whether you drop down to a weight division or move up to a weight division. It’s more difficult when one moves from a lower weight to a higher weight as you are at a disadvantage with the other boxers being a bit heavy as they come in that weight by dropping their body weight. So one faces more strong boxers. I guess if I play in 50kg category, it will not make much of a difference. Normally my weight remains 51.51.5 kg so my body will work well in 50kg. So for some time, I will continue in the 50kg weight division.

On thoughts on the day of the final and parent’s reaction

I only thought about giving my best. My target was to win by a unanimous decision if possible as it could have gone either way in a split decision. So I did not take any chance and wanted to play attacking in first two rounds and relax a little in third round. But the second round today was a split round. So I had to give it all in the third round and I am glad I could win. My parents have been my inspiration as whenever I win, my mother reads namaaz for me and prays that her daughter wins. My father has been supportive of my game. When I faced bad times after my injury or after missing in trials, my parents’ support was the biggest and they never left me.

On missing the Tokyo Olympics qualifier and chance to go to Tokyo

These two years, I focused on my game only and whatever the weaknesses were there in my game, I tried to improve. I worked on my strong points and on where I lacked in my game. Jis cheez pe kam karna tha, usi pe kam kia hai and apne aap ko strong banaya hai. (I worked on the aspects where I needed to work and made myself strong). All those hurdles which I have faced in my career have made me strong. I have become mentally strong after all these and my thought process is that whatever happens, I have to fight and give my best.





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