Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen, who hails from Nizamabad, expressed joy over her inclusion in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) saying that it is a big boost for her in run up to the next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Agreeing that the inclusion came a little late, the Telangana boxer is, however, delighted with the move. The 23-year-old former junior world champion hopes to continue the hard work and win a medal at the Olympics. Speaking from Italy, where she is undergoing a two-week training, she divulges much more in an interaction with
Shiva Krisha Gundra.
On TOPS inclusion
I am very happy to be included in the TOPS. I am thankful to the Boxing Federation of India, Sports Ministry and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. It is a very big motivating factor for me ahead of next year’s Olympics. My dream is to win medal for the country and this will boost my confidence a lot.
On the timing
Yes, it (inclusion in TOPS) happened a bit late. But I am happy that it happened finally. There was confusion between BFI and the Sports Ministry on whose name to be included since Mary Kom is also in the same category (51kg). But I am happy that it is done now.
On training abroad
It will definitely push me to work harder. I don’t know how it will be done. The money or the training programmes, I want to use the money to train abroad. I am happy that the TOPS inclusion will allow me to train abroad as part of preparations.
On Olympic preparations
Olympics is hardly a few months from now as the trials will be held in January and the qualification will be held in February. So it is less than four months. We are training hard. They said that the TOPS list will be reviewed once again after the first qualifiers. I am not sure whether they will retain my name or not after that.
On next assignment
Right now, there are no tournaments. So my focus right now is on training hard and prepare for the senior nationals which will be held in November last week or December first week.