Defending champion Nikhat Zareen enters second round of Strandja Memorial

Defending champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) outpunched Morocco’s Yasmine Mouttaki to progress to the second round of Strandja Memorial boxing tournament.

File photo: The Strandja Memorial boxing tournament is Nikhat Zareen's first after the selection row for next month’s Olympic qualifiers.   -  RITU RAJ KONWAR

Defending champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) was off to a resounding start at the Strandja Memorial boxing tournament, outpunching Morocco’s Yasmine Mouttaki in Sofia, Bulgaria on Tuesday.

Zareen, former junior world champion, prevailed 5-0 to enter the second round.

Read: Indian boxing coach Qamar credits international tournaments for youngsters' growth

The Hyderabadi is competing in her first tournament after the bitter selection row for next month’s Olympic qualifiers.

She had lost to six-time world champion M. C. Mary Kom in the trials.

Among other Indians in the competition, four-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63kg) got a bye into the second round.

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.