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SportOther SportsState boxer Nikhat Zareen cruises into semis

State boxer Nikhat Zareen cruises into semis

Published: 18th Mar 2021 3:22 pm

Hyderabad: Telangana boxer Nikhat Zareen continued her red hot form in the ongoing Bosphorus Boxing tournament in Turkey. A day after stunning the reigning world champion Paltceva Ekaterina 5-0 to enter quarterfinals in the 51 kg category, the boxer from Nizamabad thrashed two-time world champion Kyzaibay Nazym of Kazakhstan 5-0 in to enter semifinal and assure herself a bronze, on Thursday.

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This is her first tournament since pandemic and the former world junior champion didn’t show any rustiness in her 5-0 victory.

Zareen, who fights in the same weight category as Indian boxing legend Mary Kom, had said she had prepared well for this tournament, before her departure to Turkey. Devoid of any competition, she has been working on her fitness and the game in the past one year. “I am delighted that I am able to represent the country and do what I love the most. The last time I played a tournament was in January 2020 and returning to the ring after more than a year will be challenging. I am working hard and will give my best to win gold for the country,” she said ahead of the tournament.

With Mary Kom set to represent India in the Tokyo Olympics by winning her bout against Zareen in the Olympic selection trials, the youngster said her focus is on the upcoming Commonwealth Games and Asian Games scheduled for next year.

Hailing from Nizamabad, the 24-year-old pugilist caught the eye when she won the gold in the Women’s Youth and Junior World Championship in 2011. She then won a bronze in India Open international boxing in Guwahati and a silver in Thailand Open in 2019.

She was also in the news for seeking a fair trial in selecting the Indian team for the upcoming Olympics. The Boxing Federation of India had selected Mary Kom for the team without conducting any selection trials. Zareen had even demanded a bout against Mary Kom and the federation had to conduct selection trials in 51kg. Though she lost her bout, Zareen said she wanted only a chance to prove herself.

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