Reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen was among three Indians who booked their places in the semifinals of the women’s world boxing championships in New Delhi. Nikhat (50kg), Nitu Ganghas (48kg) and Sawety Boora (81kg) continued their strong run at the tournament and will now earn at least bronze. All semifinalists have a confirmed bronze medal.
Nikhat beat Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat 5-2, and Saweety beat Belarus’ Viktoriya Kebikava 5-0 in their first match of the tournament. Meanwhile, Nitu won another fight for RSC (the referee stopped the contest) after dominating his fight against Japan’s Madoka Wada.
Nikhat will face Rio Olympics bronze medalist Ingrit Valencia of Colombia in the semifinals. Nitu will take on the reigning Asian champion and last year’s World Championship silver medalist, Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhstan, in what will be a rematch of last year’s World Championship quarterfinals.
Previously, Sakshi Chaudhary lost to China’s Yu Wu in the 52kg quarters and 2022 world bronze medalist Manisha Moun lost to France’s Amina Zidani in the 57kg quarters.
Still to come are Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), 2022 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Jaismine Lamboria (60kg) and Nupur Sheoran (+81kg), who will move up to the ring for their respective quarterfinals later on Wednesday. .
what they say
At the match: “Today’s match was a close fight, but I still won by split decision. I am very happy that I was able to confirm a medal for my country. Insha’Allah (God willing) I will also win gold. My strategy was to win both first rounds and then play a little bit in the third, but since I won the first two 3-2, I wanted to stay at the distance in the third… but there was a lot of clinch and I was getting pretty tired.”
“I was shocked for a moment when they announced Blue was the winner (she was wearing red), but then I realized she was in the other ring!”
On his journey: “My parents are here to watch the fight today. When we arrived at the stadium from Patiala, I had flashbacks. The 2018 world championships were happening here and I was not a part of the Indian team. I had come as a spectator to watch the fights and see the Indian team. But I am happy now that I am part of the team, especially since I have confirmed a medal.”
On recovering in time for Thursday’s semi-final: “I really have less time to recover because first of all this is in the evening session (today), and now I’m also going to have to set my weight for tomorrow’s fight. I’m going to have to control the weight right away, so I’m I’m not recovering much (time), but I do what I can in the morning and then I prepare for the afternoon session.”
At the match: “I can apply everything I practiced. It’s good to be able to win matches through RSC. I couldn’t be aggressive at first, but then I decided to go on the attack. I lost in the quarterfinals at the previous World Championship. I practiced a lot this time, ( I thought) it’s happening in India, so there’s no way I’m letting go of a medal.”
On his mentality: “Our entire team is here to win gold. I will give my 100 percent. If you get angry inside the ring, you won’t be able to focus. It’s important to stay calm. Winning three matches via RSC is good. My next opponent will feel the pressure”.
At the match: “The boxer from Belarus (Viktoria) is a very good fighter with a world medal to her name and with our two strengths, including uppercuts, being similar, I knew she would have to fight to the finish. She was a bit tired.” the last round, but I kept going with my trainer, who was constantly motivating me from ringside, and my family in the audience, who had high hopes for me. My next fight will definitely be better than this one as I always get better with the number of matches I play.”