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Zareen unfazed by prospect of tough draw at Olympics

Source: PTI
June 12, 2024 22:44 IST
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Nikhat ZareenIMAGE: Zareen won her second World Championships title last year in the 50kg Category. Photograph: Nikhat Zareen/Twitte

Two-time world champion boxer Nikhat Zareen isn't fazed by the prospect of facing tough opponents early in her Olympic debut. In fact, she thrives on it.

The 27-year-old, who qualified for the Paris Games in the 50kg category, sees the lack of seeding as an even playing field. "There's no guarantee in the Olympics," she said. "Whoever I face, I'm ready."

Zareen's history speaks for itself. Unseeded after a weight class change, she dominated the 2023 World Championships. "Seedings don't matter," she emphasizes, "Difficult draws bring out the best in me."


Her recent performances solidify this. A silver medal at the Strandja Memorial followed by a win at the Elorda Cup showcase her top form. While nervous, she views it as a positive sign. "It keeps me focused," she explains.

The Asian Games, where she learned a valuable lesson from a close semifinal loss, marked the end of her long winning streak. "I wasn't aggressive enough," she admits. "But I learned from it."

With the Olympics on the horizon, her priorities are clear: "Stay injury-free and mentally strong."

Reflecting on her journey, Zareen acknowledges the incredible change. "From challenger to the face of Indian boxing," she marvels. "I'm grateful for achieving my dream of becoming a world champion. But the ultimate goal – an Olympic medal – awaits."

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Paris Olympics 2024

Paris Olympics 2024