Women's Nationals: Nikhat advances to last 16

Nikhat Zareen, who competed in the World championship in May and lost in the quarterfinals of that Olympic qualifying event, took some time to get her rhythm back against an attacking Rajani Singh.

Nikhat Zareen is a former world junior champion.   -  Special Arrangement

Former World junior champion Nikhat Zareen ignored issues related to her warm-up to beat Rajani Singh 3-0 and advance to the pre-quarterfinals on the opening day of the National women's boxing championship at the Reserve Police Lines Hall here on Saturday.

Nikhat, who competed in the World championship in May and lost in the quarterfinals of that Olympic qualifying event, took some time to get her rhythm back against an attacking Rajani.

The Hyderabad girl used her defensive skills to evade Rajani's punches and delivered some clean ones in the first round. Nikhat initiated the attack in the next but her opponent from Uttar Pradesh was ready with her straight ones.

Banking on her agile footwork, Nikhat changed her strategy to land her accurate counter punches and right-left combinations to tame Rajani.

“I am not happy with my performance today. It could have been even better. I had warmed up earlier but the bout was deferred, so I had to warm up again. Since my opponent was throwing punches here and there, there was a problem in handling her,” said Nikhat.

In an interesting 48kg bout, Rajesh Narwal of Railways staved off wild punches from her Arunachal Pradesh rival Sita Devi to win the contest 3-0.

Sita often forced herself upon Rajesh while trading punches. The Railways boxer fell on the canvas several times but regained her composure to land some well-directed punches and take the bout.

Experienced Sanasri Brahama had to suffer defeat in the hands of Himachal Pradesh pugilist Pallavi, who relied on good defence and counter-attacks to keep Sanasri, who was warned once, at bay and record a 3-0 win.

Well-known names such as Sarjubala Devi and Vanlal Duati won their respective bouts through technical knockouts.



Results (preliminary rounds)

48kg: Nitu (Chd) bt Muskan Sidhu (Pun) 2-1, Monika (Har) bt Anju S. (Kar) TKO (R2), Anju Rajbhar (Goa) bt Puja Behera (Jha) 2-1, Sudesh (AIP) bt J. Deepthi (AP) 3-0, Rajesh Narwal (RSPB) bt Sita Devi (Aru) 3-0, Pallavi (HP) bt Sanasri Brahma 3-0, Maria Thomas (Ker) bt Uma Bouri (WB) TKO (R3), Pooja Tokas (Del) bt Saroj (Raj) 3-0, Nivetha K. (TN) bt Anupam Kumari (Bih) TKO (R3), Rebecca Lal (Miz) bt Madhu Sahu (Ori) TKO (R1), Sarjubala Devi (Man) bt Eva Marabaniang (Meg) TKO (R2).

51kg: Yaisana Chanu (Man) bt Abha Singh (Cht) 2-1, Manju Basumatary (Asm) bt Priyanka Devi (JK) 3-0, Anjali Mehta (AIP) bt Poonam Patel (MP) 3-0, Nikhat Zareen (Tel) bt Rajani Singh (UP) 3-0, Jyoti (Raj) bt Hemelatha K. (TN) TKO (R2), Vanlal Duati (Miz) bt Neha Prasad (Goa) TKO (R1), Meenakshi (RSPB) bt Suman Kumari (WB) 3-0, Jamuna Devi (HP) bt Sruthimol Sasi (Ker) 2-1, Jhunari Gaud (Ori) bt Aruna K. (AP) 2-1, Tensunaro Tsudir (Nag) bt Kajal Kumari (Bih) 3-0, Harshal Sutar (Mah) bt Jyoti Mundari (Jha) 2-1, Poonam Bist (Utk) bt Sunita (Chd) 2-1, Anita Mauriya (Del) bt Ramisha Lyngdoh (Meg) 3-0.