Nitu, latest champion from India's boxing breeding ground, wins her first major gold
Commonwealth Games 2022: Nitu Ghanghas, who has been waiting in the wings in Mary Kom's category, had her breakthrough moment with the gold medal on Sunday.
The breeding ground of Indian boxers, Bhiwani, has mastered the art of producing gems for Indian boxing and brought the laurels to the country for at least two decades now.
From the first Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal in the form of Vijender Singh to the latest sensation in Indian boxing - Nitu Ghanghas - who won Gold at the ongoing Commonwealth Games, Bhiwani is a gift that keeps on giving.
"Nitu ka pehla bada medal hai, ghar pe sab khushi mana rahe hai. (This is the first major medal won by Nitu, everyone is happy at home)," exclaims an excited Mr Jai Bhagwan who will be proud of her daughter's achievement.
Jai Bhagwan was confident about her daughter's Gold medal win even before she entered the ring. When Nitu won her first game at Commonwealth Games 2022 and confirmed the bronze medal, Jai told The Bridge, "We are confident about her and she has the ability to go for the gold. Hopefully, she will win the remaining matches and get the gold home."
Twenty km away from the city of Bhiwani, Dhanana village in Haryana has been breeding a champion. A young Nitu was supported well by her father, who left his job, would travel with her and stay throughout her training in Bhiwani.
For the training of Nitu, her father left his job and took a lot of financial help from his relatives. With Nitu reaching the highest level and making a name for herself, Jai Bhagwan can resume his duty and can easily pay off the loans he has accumulated over the years.
Spotted by the coach who gave India's first Olympic medalist boxer Vijender Singh, Jagdish Kumar saw the hunger in the eyes of a young Nitu and decided to take her under the famous wings of Bhiwani Boxing Club.
Nitu started her training in 2012 and three years later she won her first gold medal for Haryana at the National Championships. She has trained under the watchful eyes of Jagdish Kumar and continued the growth in the national boxing circuit of India.
During the boxing trials for Commonwealth Games, Nitu was touted to face Mary Kom in the first round and practically nobody had thought she will go through. In a bout where Mary Kom got injured, it had been Nitu who had dominated. She said, "I just wanted to show my game to everyone irrespective of the result."
A week before Commonwealth Games, sitting in his boxing club, Jagdish Kumar said, "Dekhiye ji, Nitu bhale dekhne me choti lagti ho lekin ladki me bhot fight hai. (Look, Nitu might have a small demeanour but she has a lot of fight in her)."
Who knows if the likes of Mary Kom and her opponent in the gold medal match on Sunday underestimated Nitu because of her size. But it is the diminutive 21-year-old who brought home the first gold medal for India in boxing at CWG 2022.