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India Open: Nikhat Zareen ready to face her idol Mary Kom

India Open: Nikhat Zareen ready to face her idol Mary Kom
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By

Abdul Gani

Published: 22 May 2019 6:06 AM GMT
Guwahati: One of the most promising Indian boxers, Nikhat Zareen, who is all set to face her compatriot and boxing legend Mary Kom in the semi-final of the ongoing second edition of the India Open Boxing tournament said that she is ready to face her idol. The Telangana girl defeated fellow Indian Anamika in the 51kg category by a unanimous decision (5-0) in the quarterfinal. “This was my first bout at the India Open against Anamika who has been the silver medallist of Youth World Championship. I had defeated her before during the Asian Games trial and this was the second time I was facing her. I’m happy with the result."
"But my main bout is the semi final against my inspiration Mary Kom. I promise you, I’m not going to give less than 100 percent in the bout. So, I hope this bout will be the best in the competition,” Nikhat said after her quarterfinal match. Recovering from a shoulder injury, she had earlier won gold in the Strandja Boxing Championship in February. Nikhat being touted as one of the highest prospects of Indian boxing in the days to come also won a bronze medal in Asian championships in Bangkok in April defeating the two-time World Champion Nazm Kyzaibay of Kazakhstan 5-0 in quarterfinals. Last time during the South Asian Games in Shillong in 2016, Nikhat had faced Mary.
“It was a great match as well. But as experience was with her, Mary (Di) won that match. I was facing my idol for the very first time. I was excited and was a bit nervous as well. I was happy that time as well with the result. That was my first senior event and I gave my best. Even though I lost, I was satisfied with my performance,”
Nikhat added. But now, after three years, she has grown in confidence and has medals in major tournaments. So, she is more determined. “There’s no nervousness. Because, I’m used to fight with everyone in my weight category. After winning medals at the Strandja competition and Asian Championships, defeating the two-time world champions, I’m quite confident now for the next bout. I will not let anyone down who have expectations from me,”
she said. The period of her recovery from a shoulder injury in 2017, she said though she was down but was determined to be back strongly. “In January 2017, my shoulder got dislocated. I had my surgery in February after that I lost almost one year. I was completely out of boxing. I was feeling bad that I will never be able to represent India in boxing. In the next year, I missed three major competitions – Commonwealth Games, Asian Championship and World Championships. Because, coaches thought that I was not 100 percent fit. But I was determined to make a comeback strongly in 2019. I wanted to prove that Nikhat Zareen is the strongest contender in 51kg category,” she added.
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