Women’s World Boxing Championship: India wins 2 golds, eyes set on two more today

Moments after being crowned world champions, Nitu Ghanghas, 22, ran to India’s national coach Bhaskar Bhatt and wept in his arms; Saweety Boora, 30, pumped her f at the camera, called for an Indian flag, and waved it.
On Saturday, two gold medals were at stake for India at the Women’s World Boxing Championship here – Nitu, harbouring hopes of glory at the Paris Olympics, and Saweety, a veteran of many battles. Both didn’t disappoint, setting the stage for Nikhat Zareen and Lovlina Borgohain on Sunday to complete the gold rush.

Nitu defeated Mongolia’s  Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg in the 48-kg final in a 5-0 unanimous decision, while Saweety (81 kg) defeated China’s Wang Lina with a 4-3 split decision.
If India wins in both the categories on Sunday, it will equal its 2006 haul, when M C Mary Kom spearheaded the team to its greatest-ever women’s boxing moment. That team also won three silver medals.
In Mary Kom’s category of 48 kg, where she won six world championships in the past, Nitu, from Dhanana village in Bhiwani, has emerged as the new champion.

“This medal means so much to me. I worked very hard for it. I’ve been boxing since 2012 and my family support through this time means a lot to me,” said Nitu after the medal ceremony. “My entire village has been supportive of my career from the very beginning. They have been praying for me since the time I went to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Many from my village came to watch me today,” she said.
Nitu now adds the senior World Championship medal to two Youth World Championship golds (2015, 2017) as well as a Commonwealth Games gold (2022). She trained at the Bhiwani Boxing Club, the same centre as Beijing Olympics bronze medal winner Vijender Singh, who watched from the stands on Saturday.
Nitu’s initial days were difficult, as she watched fellow contestants, including World Championship teammate Sakshi Chaudhary, climb up the ranks and win medals. Then a bronze at the 2016 Youth Nationals was followed a selection for the 2017 Youth World Championships national camp. She has not looked back since then.

“It’s going to become easier for me to train. My family’s financial problems are now taken care of. I can focus completely on training now,” said Nitu. Her father, Jai Bhagwan, took loans and sold his car to fund his daughter’s boxing dreams.
The other gold winner of the day, Saweety, also from Haryana, has had a long career. At 30, this is her second World Championship medal, after winning a silver in 2014. For the past few years, she was in the 75-kg category, where she failed to win medals. But shifting back to the 81-kg class has won her a second Worlds medal.

Earlier a state-level Kabaddi player, the Hisar resident turned to boxing at the insence of her father. Her ser, Siwi Boora, is also a boxer; her husband, Deepak Hooda, is a Pro Kabaddi League player.
For Saweety, the added motivation was that she was never really considered for Olympic categories in the Indian system. Her light heavyweight category is not a part of the 2024 Paris Olympics programme, but her family hopes that this gold will help her qualify in the 75-kg category.
“I am thrilled after fulfilling my dream of becoming the world champion,” said Saweety.

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