SPORTS

Before making her Olympic debut ahead of Paris 2024, Nikhat Zareen says, “Take Those Expectations as a Motivation.”

The 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medalist and 2023 World Championship gold medalist Nikhat Zareen spoke with Dinesh Karthik on JioCinema’s “Get Set Gold.” She spoke about her difficulties getting a trial for the World Championships in 2019 and expressed her enthusiasm for her first Olympic experience in Paris in 2024.

In the episode, Zareen spoke about her experience as a professional boxer and how, despite being informed that trials would be performed for all categories, she discovered there would be none for the 51 kg class in the 2019 World Championships.

Trials were to be held for every weight division at the 2019 World Championships. I had even messaged the group the day before, asking if anybody could let me know whether I needed to share my weight in case I had an appointment the following day, but nobody had responded. That night, I went to bed hungry since I had to get up early the next morning to start losing weight. The selection committee informed me there would be no 51-kg match when I went to provide my weight.

The two-time world champion spoke up about how the rejection affected her and how she spoke out to get a chance to represent India in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Jordan.

“I was upset, depressed, and discouraged. That was a really emotional moment for me. I then spoke out, asking why this weight group was the only one included in the experiment. I was required to navigate social media. I also sent a letter to the minister of sports. At last, the trial took place. More than being victorious, I was relieved that the trial was finally taking place. I ended up losing the fight, but as I always say, learning is more important to me than winning or losing. I haven’t looked back since; instead, my focus is on Paris 2024. In 2022, I also won the title of world champion.

Zareen discussed her impending trip to Paris in 2024 with Karthik during their sparring session. The boxer is excited to compete for India in the Olympics.

“I’m an Olympic novice. Naturally, I’m looking forward to the Olympics, which will be held to a high standard. However, I’ll use that anticipation as inspiration to work harder inside the ring. I see this as a privilege since I have always wanted to represent India at the Olympics, so this expectation is not a hardship.

She is one of six Indian boxers who have qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Zareen has a distinguished athletic career that includes victories in many weight classes. She won two gold medals at the World Championships, first in the flyweight class in 2022 and then in the light flyweight class in 2023. She added a gold medal from the 2022 Commonwealth Games and a bronze medal from the 2022 Asian Games to her stellar career graph, enhancing her reputation as a powerful force in sports.

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