India’s was assured of four medals at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 2023 on Wednesday. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nitu Ghanghas, Asian Champion Saweety Boora, reigning World Champion Nikhat Zareen and three-time World Championships medalist Lovlina Borgohain stormed into the semifinals at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi.

Nikhat Zareen was assured of back-to-back World Championships medals after a thrilling bout against Thailand’s two-time World Championships bronze medallist Chuthamat Raksat in the 50kg quarterfinal. She registered a 5-2 win on points after the bout was reviewed.

“Yes, today’s bout was stressful but I won by a split decision so I am really happy that I secured a medal for my country, and going forward I’ll win the gold medal too. My strategy today was to win in the first 2 rounds and then play around in the last,” said Nikhat after the bout.

She added: “I won the 2 rounds but from 3:2 in each so in the last round, I aimed to play from a long range but there was a lot of clinching so my body got a little tired. All the bouts I have had till now were powerful but for me, it’s been a good experience to keep moving forward and defeating them so hopefully I will keep moving forward like this and fight for my country.”

Nikhat will face Rio Olympics bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia of Colombia in the semi-finals.

Nitu continued her dominant streak and registered yet another win by Referee Stops Contest in the second round, this time against two-time Worlds bronze medallist Madoka Wada of Japan in the 48kg category.

“I have been able to apply 100% apply of my practice in the ring so far and going into the next match I feel good I have won all my three bouts by RSC. She (Maduko) is a southpaw just like me and as this was my first time in the tournament facing a southpaw, I had to pay complete attention and attack. I was on the counter from the first round but I feel like I should have played a bit more attacking and I will try to do that in my next bout,” said Nitu after the win.

The Indian will now take on the reigning Asian champion and last year’s World Championships silver medallist Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhstan in what will be a rematch of last year’s World Championships quarter finals.

India were assured of their second medal after Saweety defeated 2018 World Championships bronze medallist Viktoria Kebikava of Belarus by a 5:0 Unanimous Decision to qualify for the 81kg semifinal.

“The boxer from Belarus (Viktoria) is a very good fighter with a world medal to her name and with both of our strengths including uppercuts being similar, I knew that I will have to fight till the very end. I was a bit tired towards the last round but I kept going for my coach who was constantly motivating from the ringside and my family in the audience, all of whom had high hopes from me. My next bout will definitely be better than this one as I always get better with the number of matches that I play,” said Saweety.

She will be going up against Emma-Sue Greentree of Australia in her next bout.

Other Indian boxers, however, bowed out. Sakshi lost to the experienced Chinese boxer by a 5:0 Unanimous Decision in the 52kg quarterfinal. Bronze medallist last year, Manisha Moun was defeated by a dominant Amina Zidani by a 4-1 split decision in the 57kg quarterfinal.

In the evening session, Jaismine was also defeated by a 5:0 Unanimous Decision by Colombia’s Paola Valdez in the 60kg quarterfinals.

In the last quarterfinal featuring an Indian, Nupur was also defeated by Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan in the +81kg bout after the bout was reviewed. The Kazakh boxer won the bout by a 4-3 split decision.

Indian bouts on March 22 (All quarter-finals)

1: Nitu (48kg) defeated Madoka Wada of Japan- 2:15 PM (QF, Ring A)

2: Sakshi (52kg) lost against Yu Wu of China- 2:45 PM (QF, Ring A)

3: Manisha (57kg) lost against Amina Zidani of France- 3:15 PM (QF, Ring A)

4: Saweety (81kg) defeated Viktoriya Kebikava of Belarus- 4:30 PM (QF, Ring A)

5: Nikhat Zareen (50kg) defeated Chuthamat Raksat of Thailand-6 PM (QF, Ring A)

6: Jaismine (60kg) lost against Paola Valdez of Colombia- 7:15 PM (QF, Ring A)

7: Lovlina (75kg) defeated Adosinda Rady Gramane of Mozambique- 8 PM (QF, Ring A)

8: Nupur (81+kg) lost against Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan- 8:45 PM (QF, Ring A)

Indian bouts on March 23 (All semi-finals)

1: Nitu (48kg) vs Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhstan- 6PM (SF, Ring A)

2: Nikhat (50kg) vs Ingrit Valencia of Colombia-6:15 PM (SF, Ring A)

3: Lovlina (75kg) vs Li Qian of China- 8:15 PM (SF, Ring A)

4: Saweety (81kg) vs Sue- Emma Greentree of Australia- 8:30 PM (SF, Ring A

With BFI inputs