Hard work pays off for Nikhat Zareen

Nikhat Zareen rose from a minor dip in her career to win her maiden National title (in 52kg) and claim the ‘Best Boxer’ award on Wednesday.

Nikhat Zareen claimed the ‘Best Boxer’ award on Wednesday.

Backed by self-belief and positive attitude, Nikhat Zareen has reaped the rewards of her hard work at the National women’s boxing championships here.

The former World junior champion and Asian championships bronze medallist rose from a minor dip in her career to win her maiden National title (in 52kg) and claim the ‘Best Boxer’ award on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, Nikhat had grabbed headlines in the past because of reasons other than performances. When she tried to raise her performance, the pandemic affected her training last year.

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The Hyderabad girl made a successful comeback in the Bosphorus tournament in Turkey in May and beat two World champions on her way to a 51kg bronze medal. But the second wave of the pandemic again derailed her training.

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“It was difficult as I could not do proper training at home. But I had faith in the almighty. I thought if I am going through all this then there must be something good for me in future,” Nikhat told Sportstar.

Nikhat, sponsored by Welspun, paid to train at the Inspire Institute of Sports for about three months to get ready for the Nationals. The training helped her give some clinical performances, including the referee stopping the contests twice, before staging an impressive come-from-behind 4-1 win in the final against the young talent Minakshi.

“The work I put in produced results. I am happy with my performance here as I dominated all the bouts.”

The 25-year-old is keen on proving herself at the World championships. “I wanted to win the National title desperately and compete in the World championships. Now I will work hard to get a Worlds medal,” said Nikhat.