Once on the verge of quitting boxing, Saweety Boora now vows to win Olympic medal
Overcoming the disappointment of missing the Tokyo Olympic qualifiers three years ago, Saweety has emerged as one of India's strongest medal hopes for the Paris Olympics by winning World Championships gold in 2023.
"No matter how far away the destination is, I am ready for every challenge": Determination thunders in the voice of boxer Saweety Boora as she trains her eyes on the Paris Olympics medal.
An agile and sharp mover in the ring, Saweety, 31, has been India's most improved boxer in the last couple of years. Her rise has been unstoppable ever since; she rose through the ranks to emerge as India's one of the most promising boxers at the international level.
"2023 had been a memorable year for me. Finally, I became the world champion. But this is just the start," Saweety told The Bridge during the #AnderSeStrong campaign for Dabur Chyawanprash.
Saweety displayed an incredible consistency both at the international as well as domestic level. She showed signs of remarkable brilliance in her movement and added variations to her armoury, sharpening her punches and solidifying her defensive blocks.
She was duly benefited for her measured work on the game. In March last year, she emerged as the light heavyweight gold medallist at the World Championships in Delhi, outshining China's Wang Lina.
It was a bit of revenge for her 2014 defeat in the final when Saweety had to be content with a silver medal after going down to three-time world champion Yang Xiaoli of China.
Almost a decade later, Saweety corrected that anomaly when she was no longer a rookie, and she proved that right with vigour and technical allure when she handed Lina a 6-4 defeat.
Saweety followed her Worlds gold with another top-of-the-podium finish at the 7th Elite Women’s National Boxing Championships in December. It was her second consecutive national title.
The year before, she stormed the ring of Asia by clinching the gold medal at the continental championship.
However, things were not as rosy as it looks now a few years back. Her dream to excel in boxing was on the brink of rack and ruin.
After she was denied an Olympic qualification chance ahead of the Tokyo Games, Saweety was so downcast that she wanted to turn her back to boxing and return to her childhood sport kabaddi, where she excelled before opting for the combat sport.
Now, she is fit and ready to vie for the unfulfilled dream of winning an Olympic medal. In that direction, she has cut down her weight to join the 75kg Olympic category from 81kg and is training with a hell-bent dedication.
"In the new year, I have started my preparation for the Paris Olympics, and I am fully focused on winning a medal for my country," Saweety vowed.
"And in this journey, my companion is my health partner Dabur Chyawanprash," she added.
As an experienced boxer, Saweety is now well aware of the sport's nuances and what is required to be a champion.
"I have to go a long way and I want to give my 100 percent in every competition because it is rather easy to reach the top of the sport but it is difficult to maintain the position there," remarked Saweety.
"Boxing is not only a combat sport but also a mind sport. You have to be physically fit, at the same time, you have to be mentally strong too," she added.
"Therefore, I have been diligently following my childhood routine - having two spoons of Dabur Chyawanprash every morning. It makes me strong and enhances my ability to train longer," Saweety signed off.