New Delhi: It was a sparse crowd at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium as the Day 1 of the Women's Boxing World championships kicked off but chants of 'India, India' rang around the corners as all four boxers in action won their respective bouts to progress to the next round.
Reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen started India's campaign in style as she made light work of her opponent from Azerbaijan to win the first bout in the 50 kg category.
Nikhat was dominant in her bout and outclassed her opponent as the match ended with the referee stopping the contest.
Talking to the media after her bout, Nikhat said, "I am very happy that India's campaign has started with my win. Now that I have started India's campaign with a win, I hope to end it with a win too."
While Nikhat Zareen drew the expected cheers, 19-year-old boxer Preeti witnessed the loudest cheers as she dominated the boxer from Hungary in the 54 kg bout.
Playing the last game of the day to feature an Indian, Preeti moved brilliantly and caught her opponent napping multiple times. As was the case with Nikhat, the match had to be stopped by the referee in the second round due to her domination.
Preeti won bronze at the Senior Asian Championships last year in her first-ever senior international tournament. Talking about her learnings from previous losses, Preeti said, "I learned from my mistakes in Senior Asian championships as I lost to a former Olympic champion there. My focus for the next few days will be on winning the gold in front of my home crowd."
In the 52 kg category, Sakshi Chaudhary triumphed over Jose Maria Martinez of Colombia to progress to the round of 32. Sakshi was rampant with her jabs and uppercuts as she won by unanimous decision of 5-0.
National Champion in the 52 kg category, Sakshi was pretty happy with her win. She said, "It has been a heartening thing that I am playing my first senior world championships in front of my home crowd. I have won two gold medals in youth world championships and now it is time to win in senior also."
Making it a superb start for India, Nupur Sheoran was brilliant in her win against Abiola Jackman of Guyana in the 81+ kg Category. Nupur was declared the winner by all five judges unanimously.
Talking about her dominant win, Nupur said, "Speed is the pillar of my game and I played on my strength. I am happy to play here in front of the home crowd and will do my best to reach the podium."
Indian boxers Jaismine Lamboria (60kg), Shashi Chopra (63kg), and Shruti Yadav (70kg) will take the ring on Friday.