Here are the profiles of all the athletes who will represent India in boxing at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham.
Nitu Ghanghas (48kg); Age: 21; From: Bhiwani, Haryana; Style: Southpaw
Coming from a humble background, Nitu found the biggest support in her father. He took leave from his job in the Chandigarh Vidhan Sabha for three years to accompany his daughter to the boxing classes run by coach Jagdish Singh at the famous Bhiwani Boxing Club (BBC). A two-time World youth champion in 2017 and 2018, Nitu graduated to the elite level successfully as she claimed a gold medal at the prestigious Strandja Memorial tournament and reached the quarterfinals of the World championships this year.
Nikhat Zareen (50kg): Age: 26; From Nizamabad, Telangana; Style: Orthodox
Nikhat Zareen realized her true potential when she emerged as 52kg World champion in Istanbul. A World junior champion in 2011, Nikhat went through several ups and downs and overcame her conservative background and a serious shoulder injury (2017) to establish her as one of the best in the world. Two gold medals at the Strandja event (2019 and 2022), an Asian championships bronze (2019) and the recent World title along with some stunning wins over World and Olympic medalists make Nikhat a medal prospect in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Jaismine Lamboria (60kg): Age: 20; From: Bhiwani, Haryana; Style: Southpaw
Hailing from a humble family, Jaismine took to boxing after getting inspired by her boxer uncles, who claimed medals in international events. Trained by her uncles, Jaismine proved herself in international youth events before claiming a silver medal on her senior international debut at the 2021 Boxam tournament and securing an Asian bronze. The lanky boxer defeated Worlds medallist and Olympian Simranjit Kaur twice, at the National championships and then at the Commonwealth Games trials, to underline her worth.
Lovlina Borgohain (70kg): Age: 24; From: Golaghat, Assam; Style: Orthodox
A Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist, Lovlina has enjoyed success ever since she switched from muay thai to boxing in 2012. Spotted and groomed by coach Podum Boro, Lovlina made her mark at the senior level when she bagged a bronze medal in the Asian championships in 2017. She returned empty-handed from the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but proved her class by taking bronze medals in the 2018 and 2019 World championships. In 2021, Lovlina became the second woman boxer from the country to claim a bronze medal in the Olympics.
Amit Panghal (51kg); Age: 26; From: Rohtak, Haryana; Style: Southpaw
Amit, who overcame a doping issue early in his career, made a mark by winning bronze at the 2017 Asian championships and Strandja events and a gold at Grand Prix Usti nad Labem. Medals at Strandja (gold), Commonwealth Games (silver), Chemistry Cup (bronze) and Asian Games (gold) in 2018 and Strandja (gold), Asian championships (gold) and the World championships (silver) in 2019 elevated Amit’s status. He was the first Indian male to achieve a Worlds silver. His early exit at the Olympics disappointed Amit, who looks to redeem some pride at the Commonwealth Games.
Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg): Age: 28; From: Nizamabad,Telangana; Style: Southpaw
Hailing from a family of boxers, Hussamuddin was trained by his father Mohammad Shamsuddin. Hussamuddin, who idolizes Vasyl Lomachenko, got the exposure at the junior and youth level before claiming a bronze medal at the 2015 Military World Games. Hussamuddin, who bagged a bronze in the Commonwealth Games and a gold in the Chemistry Cup in 2018, continued to get medals at top events such as the Gee Bee tournament (silver, 2019), Thailand Open (silver, 2019), Chemistry Cup (bronze, 2020) and Boxam international event (silver, 2021). He will be a strong medal prospect in Birmingham.
Shiva Thapa (63.5kg): Age: 28; From: Guwahati, Assam; Style: Orthodox
Coming from a family of sportspersons, Shiva showed his prodigious talent when he won medals in World youth and junior championships and the Youth Olympics. Shiva’s rise was on the expected lines as he became the youngest Indian boxer to qualify for the Olympics in 2012. A World championships bronze medallist in 2015, Shiva has a unique record of winning five successive Asian medals, including a gold in 2013. Shiva, a two-time Olympian, is now eager to make an impact in the Commonwealth Games.
Rohit Tokas (67kg): Age: 28; From: Delhi; Style: Orthodox
Born in Delhi, Rohit and his elder brother fell in love with boxing by watching movies on television and joined a local club. Rohit, whose love for boxing was rekindled by a school bully, improved to win the National youth title in 2010. He made an impact by winning a bronze at his first senior national-level tournament in 2012 and an All-India inter-university gold the following year. Rohit proved his mettle by getting two bronze medals at the Kings Cup in 2015 and 2017 and a gold in National championships and a bronze in Makran Cup in 2019.
Sumit Kundu (75kg): Age: 19; From: Jind, Haryana; Style: Orthodox
Sumit, who lost his father early, started boxing in 2013. But seeing his family go through a tough phase, he decided to leave the sport and took up a security guard’s job in a school. He returned to boxing with the help of some well-wishers. He won the gold medals at the 2018 National School Games and 2019 Khelo India Games. The Army man caught everyone’s attention when he won the 2021 National title on debut. Sumit, who upstaged Worlds silver medallist Dzhambulat Bizhamov at the Strandja Memorial event, impressed all with his gold medal at the Thailand Open.
Ashish Kumar (80kg): Age: 28; From: Sundarnagar, Himachal Pradesh; Style: Orthodox
Born into a family of boxers, Ashish Kumar began his training at the Sundarnagar Boxing Club at the age of 14. Ashish graduated to the senior level in 2012 and won his first gold medal in the 75kg at the 2015 National Games. The 2019 Asian championships was the turning point for him as he claimed the silver medal and later won his first international gold medal at the Thailand Open. Ashish, who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, got silver medals in the 2021 Boxam and 2022 Thailand Open events and now hopes to shine at the Commonwealth Games.
Sanjeet (91kg): Age: 26; From: Rohtak, Haryana; Style: Southpaw
Sanjeet took to boxing after watching his brother. He chose boxing so that he wouldn’t need to focus on studies. Over the years, Sanjeet has built a reputation of being a giant-killer. In 2018, defeated Worlds bronze medalist Kazakh boxer SanjarTursunov in the India Open final. Sanjeet made the headlines by toppling Rio Olympics silver medallist Vassily Levit of Kazakhstan on his way to win the Asian title. Sanjeet, who recovered from two surgeries on his biceps, is fit again to give his best in the Commonwealth Games.
Sagar Ahlawat (+91kg): Age: 22; From: Jhajjar, Haryana, Style: Southpaw
Sagar, who liked boxing after reading about the famous 2015 bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, will make his India debut at the Commonwealth Games. He began his training at the Jhajjar’s Jawahar Bagh Stadium (which was 20km away from his home) in 2016. Sagar – who later trained at Chandigarh – went on to win inter-varsity gold in 2019 and golds at the Khelo India University Games. After securing a silver in the 2021 National championships, Sagar upstaged his idol, Olympian Satish Kumar, and National champion Narender to book his ticket for Birmingham.
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