These athletes have also won numerous medals in various competitions.
Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen achieved a rare feat by winning the gold medal in the 52kg Flyweight category of the 2022 Women’s World Boxing Championship in Turkey. She was able to defeat Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong in the final to enter an exclusive class of female Indian boxers to win gold in the Women’s Boxing Championship.
Indeed, Zareen is only the fifth woman boxer to win the gold medal in the illustrious tournament since it started in 2000. But who are the other Indian women to have won a gold medal in a Women’s Boxing Championship? Let’s have a look.
5. Sarita Devi
Before Zareen, the only Indian female boxer to win gold in the 52kg category in the Women’s Boxing Championship was Sarita Devi. The Manipur-born boxer is regarded as one of the best women boxers to come out of India, having won over 10 medals in her career.
But arguably the sweetest one was the gold medal in the 2006 Women’s World Boxing Championship in New Delhi. Before that, she had won the bronze medal in the 2005 edition but was focused on doing better on home turf. Sarita put up a brilliant effort in the final, defeating Ukraine’s Viktoria Rudenko 18-12 to bag the gold medal.
4. Jenny R.L
Jenny R.L represented India in the 63kg Light Welterweight category in the 2006 Women’s World Boxing Championship, which was held in New Delhi. She thrived under the support of the home crowd to pull off a remarkable story. Prior to the World Championships, Jenny had also won gold in the 2003 and 2005 Asian Boxing Championships and headed into the 2006 edition full of confidence.
She defeated Canadian boxer Katie Dunn in the semi-finals to set up a bout against Swedish boxer Kiara Svensson in the final. Against all odds, Jenny ousted her opponent by the margin of 18-12 to win the final and bag the gold medal title – which would be one of Team India’s four golds in the championship.
3. Lekha K.C
The second Indian female boxer to win gold in the 2006 Women’s World Boxing Championship was Lekha KC in the 75kg middleweight category. She had also won Gold in the 2005 Asian Boxing Championship in the 80kg division but did one better in New Delhi.
Lekha dominated Chinese boxer Jinzi Li in the final to win the gold medal in the World Boxing Championship, defeating her by he margin of 18-12. It also marks the only time Lekha has won a gold medal in a Women’s World Boxing Championship in her career.
2. Nikhat Zareen
Of course, Nikhat Zareen has become the latest female Indian boxer to win a gold medal in the Women’s World Boxing Championship in history. The 25-year-old had won the bronze medal back in the 2019 Asian Boxing Championship, which was the only major medal in her career.
But Zareen went into the 2022 Women’s Boxing Championship with a lot of training and absolutely dominated in her 52kg category. Nikhat absolutely dominated her way to the final, winning all her games by the margin of 5-0 before setting up a bout against Jutamas. Zareen continued her great work, winning the final by the margin of 5-0 (30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28) to bag the gold medal.
1. Mary Kom
Arguably the best female Indian boxer of all time, MC Mary Kom is regarded as a pioneer of Women’s Boxing in the country. She has won medals in every major competition participated in her career, from the bronze medal in the Olympics to the gold medal in the Women’s Boxing Championship. Mary Kom has been absolutely dominant in the Women’s Boxing Championship ever since it was started.
In the inaugural Women’s Boxing Championship in 2001, Mary Kom barely missed out on the gold medal – having to be satisfied with the silver medal. She has since gone on to win six gold medals in the Women’s Boxing Championship, including in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2018 editions – that too across two separate weight classes. Mary Kom has won more gold Women’s World Boxing Championship medals than any women boxer in history and her record is unlikely to be broken anytime soon.