As the quartet of gold medal winning boxers sparkled in the glory of their World title wins, chief coach Bhaskar Bhatt acknowledged the support of mental trainers and physios, who worked behind the scene, in the overwhelming success.
Nitu Ghanghas (48kg), Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) and Saweety Boora (81kg) had to deal with tremendous pressure of expectations and some tough opponents to script India’s best showing in 17 years.
“The athletes handled them well in spite of the pressure of boxing at home in one of the biggest fields. For example, one weight had 41 participants, another had 35. The sports science team, including the mental trainer and physios, played a crucial role. After draining fights, they prepared the athletes mentally and physically for the next bouts,” said chief coach Bhaskar Bhatt.
It was Nitu’s new-found maturity, Nikhat’s grit, Lovlina’s focus and Saweety’s inner strength that did the trick for India.
“Nitu is getting better in her long range game. She showed how tough she is mentally,” said Bhatt.
Nitu herself accepts that of late she has developed the ability to adapt to situations as per the opponents and change her game-plan.
Nikhat, who got her career’s first standing count in a final, was a story of self-belief as she competed in six fights in a different weight division to emerge triumphant. “Nikhat’s determination to win gold helped her take her second World title,” said Bhatt.
Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina’s single-minded approach and a bit of luck in the final broke her ‘jinx’ of bronze medals in the World championships.
“After the Olympics, Lovlina had a down phase. She has changed a lot, has become a lot more religious and values her family more and is completely focused on boxing. She kept her patience in every bout,” observed Bhatt.
Lovlina was honest that she could not apply her plan well in the final and underlined the need to get better.
For Saweety, it was a dream-come-true to bag a gold medal, nine years after taking a silver in Jeju City. “Saweety is mentally very strong. She was ready to do everything inside the ring to emerge as the winner. Her confidence level propelled her to the gold medal.
“The younger boxers also did well, but they need more experience. I am sure they will improve after getting more exposure,” added Bhatt.
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