Carrying forward a legendary legacy, Jaismine punches her way to medal on Commonwealth Games debut
Hailing from a legendary family of boxers, Jaismine starts her senior international boxing career with the bronze medal at Commonwealth Games 2022.
India kicked off their Boxing medal rush with Jaismine Lamboria winning a bronze medal in the 60kg category on her Commonwealth Games debut. She lost the semi-finals by split decision 3-2 to Gemma Paige of England.
Back in Haryana, when you travel through bumpy roads and multiple lanes of Bhiwani city, Chaudhary Banislal Park comes and nearby to that there is Lamboria House. Lamboria House is a normal household which is used to witnessing champions given their legacy. But this time history is a little different.
The whole Lamboria house would have cheered ferociously when their youngest champion in the lot, Jaismine set her foot in the boxing ring to bring the first ever medal and became the first girl to carry forward the legacy of Legendary Captain Hawa Singh and his uncles Parvinder and Sandeep who dominated the national boxing circuit in their prime days and won multiple national championships.
Parvinder and Sandeep played at Commonwealth Games too but they missed out on medals. Today when they will see their niece and student Jaismine taking the medal on the podium, they will smile for sure.
The story goes back to the city of Bhiwani which is the holy grail of Indian boxers now producing multiple champions for India every year.
Two young brothers Parvinder and Sandeep started boxing after getting inspiration from their legendary grandfather and they went on to play around the national circuit winning medals and international medals too.
Once they both decided to hang up the gloves, it was a matter of time before someone else from the family would have picked up the baton to continue the legacy.
After almost 8-9 years later when their lanky niece Jaismine expressed her interest in boxing, Sandeep didn't pay heed to this thought as he thought she is weak to be a boxer.
But Jaismine insisted and forced her uncle to teach him boxing. As it is said, "Only a jeweller knows the true assay of the diamond", Sandeep and Parvinder recognised their physical build and her height advantage.
It was an easy route after that for them, Jaismine was taken to the club and tested against the boxers. She easily knocked out the opponents and showed that she is ready to take the legacy forward.
It was tough to convince her grandfather who was still stuck in the times when wrestling and boxing were not made for girls. But PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik winning medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics gave Jaismine the power to go against the old age patriarchial thought and pursue boxing.
"Mujhe laga tha ye padhai karegi. Sabse jyada intelligent hai Jaismine." (I thought she will do good in her studies as she was the most intelligent student I know), exclaims her uncle Sandeep.
Trained under the expert eyes of her both uncles, Jaismine didn't have it easy. Coming from a prominent boxing family, She had the pressure of carrying a legacy and facing a lot of opposition for the name she carries.
"It is not much time that Jaismine has started boxing. At the start of her career, she faced boxers who have either been youth champions or boxing for more than ten years. We trained her to not only be better but cover all those years as she started late", remembers Sandeep.
"We started in 2016 and given her height advantage we had to train her in agility. In her first major University, she defeated World Youth Champion and Asian championships medalist Manisha Moun which gave us the confidence that she can go ahead."
Jaismine participated in her first major tournament which was the World Championships where she bowed out in the quarter-finals, eventually losing to the World Champion Rashida Ellis of the USA.
Jaismine had won both bouts before the quarter-finals and lost by a split decision. Months later she will come to defeat World Championship bronze medalist Parveen Hooda to make her mark in the Commonwealth Games.
Jaismine battled COVID-19 just before the Asian Championships in April. She had a tough road back to normal as her haemoglobin levels fell down, she gained weight and didn't train for more than six months.
And one year later, she is here with her bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games 2022.
Talking about the road ahead for Jaismine, Sandeep says, "We will prepare her for the Paris Olympics as Asian Games are postponed. I believe she is ready for the top level of boxing and can contest at the Olympics".
The Lamboria family has been part of the revolution which has seen Bhiwani gifting multiple champions to India.
Remembering the old days and how Vijender Singh's medal changed the landscape of Bhiwani, Jaismine's uncle said, "Today Bhiwani has the number of boxers which are not there in the whole country. The number and growth are staggering in a small city like Bhiwani. The boxing community needs to be united for the growth of the game".
From those water-logged lanes of Bhiwani to the podium of Commonwealth Games 2022, Jaismine Lamboria has certainly punched above her weight and hopefully this flight lands at the top most position like her punches from the top drawer.