Istanbul, Turkey, May 19: India’s Nikhat Zareen won the gold medal in the 52kg category at the Women’s World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey, with a win over Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas in the fly-weight final on Thursday. Zareen thus becomes only the fifth Indian women’s boxer after Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Jenny RL and Lekha KC to win a gold at the World Championships. The 25-year-old Zareen is a former junior youth world champion. Against her Thai opponent in the final, Zareen fought with brilliance and brought home the gold medal.
Two other Indian boxers Manisha (57kg) and Parveen (63kg) won bronze medal in the competition. This year’s tournament also marks the 20th anniversary of the Women’s World Championships. In the last edition of the tournament, held in Russia in 2019, Indian boxers clinched one silver and three bronze medals. India have won 36 medals, including nine gold, eight silver and 19 bronze, in the 11 editions of the tournament so far—third highest after Russia (60) and China (50).
Earlier in the semi-final, Zareen pulled off a comprehensive 5-0 win against Brazil’s Caroline De Almeida. On the other hand, Jutamas had stunned the two-time World Championships medallist and experienced Kazakh boxer Zhaina Shekerbekova 4-1.
In the semi-final, Zareen started off cautiously but soon shifted the gears and went into all out offensive, unleashing a flurry of punches. Her Brazilian opponent struggled to keep pace with a technically superior 25-year-old Indian, who looked in commanding position after the first two rounds. (Agencies)