Nikhat Zareen in action© ANI

Nikhat Zareen, the Gold medallist at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the 2023 World Championships, spoke to Dinesh Karthik on JioCinema’s ‘Get Set Gold.’ She discussed her struggles to earn a trial for the 2019 World Championships and shared her excitement for Paris 2024, which will be her first appearance at the Olympics. In the episode, Zareen discussed her journey as a professional boxer and how she found out that there were no trials for the 51kg division for the 2019 World Championships after being told that the same will be held across all categories.


“They were supposed to have trials for all the weight categories in the (2019) World Championships. One day before, I even messaged in the group, ‘If I have a bout tomorrow, can you tell me if I have to give my weight tomorrow?’ but, no one replied. I slept hungry that night, as early in the morning, I had to get up and lose weight. When I went to give my weight, the selection committee came and told me that there is no bout for 51kg.” 


The two-time World Champion shared her emotions after the snub, and how she raised her voice to earn a trial to be India’s representative at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Jordan.


“I felt hurt, sad, and disheartened. I was very emotional at that time. Then, I raised my voice about why the trial didn’t happen only for this weight category. I had to go through social media. I also wrote a letter to the sports minister. Finally, the trial happened. More than winning, I was happy that the trial was finally happening. In the end, I lost that bout, but as I always say, for me, it’s not about winning and losing, it’s about learning. Since then, I haven’t looked back, my eyes are on Paris 2024. I also became World Champion in 2022.”


While sparring with Karthik, Zareen spoke about her upcoming participation at Paris 2024, as the boxer looks forward to representing India on the Olympic stage.


“This is my first Olympics. Of course, I’m very excited about the Olympics, and there will be a lot of expectations from me. But I’ll take that expectation as a motivation, and I’ll push myself inside the ring. This expectation is not a burden, I’ve always dreamt of representing India at the Olympics and I’ll take that as a blessing.”


She’s among six Indian boxers to have secured qualification for Paris 2024. Zareen boasts an illustrious sporting career, marked by triumphs in multiple weight divisions. She clinched two World Championship Golds, triumphing in the Flyweight category in 2022 and dominating the Light Flyweight division in 2023. Adding to her impressive career graph, she secured a Gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and a Bronze at the 2022 Asian Games, further solidifying her status as a formidable force in the world of sports.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a press release)

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