Indian boxers Nikhat Zareen, Manisha and Parveen entered the semi-finals of their respective categories and assured themselves medals at the 12th edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul on Monday.
Confirming India’s first World Championships medal with a place in the semi-finals was Nikhat, who clinched a dominating 5-0 win against England’s Charley-Sian Taylor Davison. Following that Manisha got the better of Mongolia’s Namuun Monkhor in the hard-fought 57kg quarter-final by a 4-1 margin.
The third medal confirmation came from Parveen (63kg) who defeated Tajikistan’s Shoira Zulkaynarova by an unanimous 5-0 scoreline. She will be up against Ireland’s Amy Broadhurst in the semi-final.
However, it was end of the campaign for the country’s five other pugilists—Nitu (48kg), Pooja Rani (81kg), Anamika (50kg), Jaismine (60kg) and Nandini (+81kg) who suffered defeats in their respective last eight bouts.
Nikhat, the 25-year-old boxer from Telangana once again showed her technical supremacy to hand the country its first medal at this year’s tournament with an impressive victory in the 52kg quarter-final. Nikhat’s aggressive intent and clean attack left no chance for Davison. The Indian had a 3-2 scoreline at the end of the first round, then made it 5-0 at the end of two, and finished with an overall 5-0 as she looked in complete control after a tight start.
Nikhat will now take on Caroline De Almeida of Brazil in the semi-finals. De Almeida defeated the 2018 Commonwealth Games silver Ireland’s Carly McNaul of Ireland by unanimous decision.
Manisha will take on Italy’s Irma Testa, who defeated Uzbekistan’s Sitora Turdibekova 4-1 in another quarter-final.
On the other hand, another Indian pugilist Nitu fell just short of securing a medal in her debut appearance at the World Championships, losing against the reigning Asian Champion Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhstan in a closely fought 48kg quarter-final.
It was a more physical bout where the boxers took on each other aggressively and landed flurry of punches but Balkibekova’s clean striking put her ahead.
In Pooja Rani’s (81kg) encounter against Australia’s Jessica Bagley, the Indian lost with a 2-3 split decision in a closely fought bought, following a bit of confusion during the winner’s announcement. The scoring too was a bit controversial.
Debutant Anamika’s (50kg) campaign at the event also came to an end after she lost to Rio Olympics Bronze Medallist Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia by a unanimous 5-0 decision.
Jaismine then went down fighting against the former World Championships bronze medallist Rashida Ellis of USA 1-4.
Later, Nandini (+81kg) didn’t stand a chance against a much taller opponent from Morocco. Khaija Mardi dominated from the word go and the Indian even received a few standing counts in a bout where she was convincingly outplayed 0-5.
Semi-final matches will take place on Wednesday while the finals will be played on Thursday and Friday at the prestigious event where 310 boxers from 73 countries took part.
In the last edition of the tournament, held in Russia in 2019, Indian boxers clinched one silver and three bronze medals. India have won 36 medals, including nine gold, eight silver and 19 bronze, in the 11 editions of the tournament so far—third highest after Russia (60) and China (50).
QF results so far:
Nikhat Zareen (52kg) beat England’s Charley-Sian Taylor Davison 5-0
Parveen (63kg) beat Tajikistan’s Shoira Zulkaynarova 5-0
Manisha (57kg) beat Mongolia’s Namuun Monkhor 4-1
Nitu (48kg) lost to Kazakhstan’s Alua Balkibekova 2-3
Pooja Rani (81kg) lost to Australia’s Jessica Bagley 2-3
Anamika (50kg) lost to Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia 0-5
Jaismine (60kg) lost Rashida Ellis of USA 1-4
Nandini (+81kg) lost to Khaija Mardi of Morocco 0-5