World women’s boxing championships | Other Sports

Incredible journey takes Nikhat Zareen to dream destination

Nikhat Zareen.

Nikhat Zareen. | Photo Credit: File photo

It has been an incredible journey for boxer Nikhat Zareen, who scaled the summit by winning the gold in the World women’s championship in Istanbul on Thursday.

Nikhat’s is yet another success story in Indian sport where a normal middle-class girl has defied odds to carve out a niche for herself.

The 25-year-old has always spoken about the support she received from her father Mohammed Jameel Ahmed, who worked as a sales officer in the Gulf before moving back home and mother Parveen Sultana. Being the third among four sisters, it was all the more challenging for Nikhat to explore new frontiers.

The defining moment of her career was when Shamsuddin, a coach in Nizamabad (Telangana), felt that Nikhat should take up the sport not just because of her guts and grit, but also for the fact that she had a much better chance to make it big in women’s boxing.

Nikhat took up boxing at 13 and within six months bagged the State championship gold in 2010 at Karimnagar. She was picked for the Rural Nationals in Punjab and made a big impact with another golden performance.

Within three months, Nikhat was adjudged the ‘best boxer’ at the sub-junior Nationals at Erode (Tamil Nadu) where her gold-winning spree continued.

Soon, Nikhat joined the Sports Authority of India camp in Visakhapatnam under the tutelage of Dronacharya I. Venkateswara Rao. She went on to take the top spot at the 2011 World junior and youth championship in Antalya, Turkey.

Jameel recalled the challenges faced by his daughter, including the tussle with Mary Kom with regard to the qualification process for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, or the shoulder injury in 2018 which kept her out of action for nearly one year. He revealed that Nikhat never thought of giving up.

“This victory is dedicated to the millions of Indians who supported her right through her journey,” said Jameel.

“We are grateful to all the coaches, SAI, Union Sports Ministry, Telangana State Government, who helped Nikhat realise her dream,” he said.

Mother Parveen Sultana, who watched the final at home with her daughters, was elated too.

“This is the day we have been waiting for quite some time. This is the greatest moment for our entire family and we are glad that Nikhat brought laurels to the country,” she said.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 3:49:24 pm |