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Support of home crowd powered me to win world championship: Nikhat Zareen



Nikhat Zareen

Ace boxer Nikhat Zareen, who became only the second Indian to win the world championship title twice, on Monday said enthusiastic support from the home crowd gave her enormous energy to give her best and win the title.

“It was a lot different. In the last world championship, I used to enter the ring with my own will power and confidence. Here, I had the support of home crowd. The home crowd cheered me as I entered the ring. Voice of ‘India’, ‘India’ used to come in the stadium. I used to get the drive from inside that I should give my best,” she told reporters here.

As the crowd supported her, she felt that she should bring a good name to the country and not disappoint the fans who come from far-off places to support her in the stadium, she said.

Zareen said it feels great for her that she could win back-to-back gold medals in world championships for the country, especially in front of the home crowd.

“It was a new experience for me that I represented the country in the world championship that happened in India and won the medal. I am very happy about it,” she said.

Though she would like to win medal in the Paris Olympics, the boxer from Telangana said she would like to take one step at a time.

“The preparation has already started for Olympics. I want to focus step by step. Because, if I directly focus on Paris, then I may not be able to focus much on the coming competitions. Recently, my focus was on winning a gold medal in the world championship. Now that I have won the gold medal, my next focus would be on the Asian Games. It’s a qualifier for the Paris Olympics. I will first try to qualify for Paris and then prepare for Paris (Olympics),” she said.

Nikhat Zareen added a second World Championships title to her name, defeating Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Tam in the 50kg summit clash in Delhi on March 26.

Nikhat upstaged the two-time Asian champion Tam by a 5-0 verdict to take the light flyweight title in front of a packed home crowd at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall. With the win, Nikhat becomes only the second Indian after the legendary MC Mary Kom to win the title in the prestigious tournament twice.

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