The Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Boxing Federation of India (BFI) on Tuesday, May 24, felicitated all three medal winners of the 12th IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi. The event was also attended by Anurag Thakur, the Union Sports Minister.
The Indian team secured third position in the team rankings with 23 points after bagging one gold and two bronze medals from the prestigious tournament. Turkey (48 points) and Ireland (23 points), who finished first and second respectively.
While speaking at the felicitation ceremony, the Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur congratulated the medal winners and said that we must celebrate current achievements but always keep aiming for the next championship.
“Our betis (daughters) have made us proud. There was a time when Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi used to speak about Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and now it’s bearing fruit. Nikhat said she doesn’t want to stop; she wants to win more medals. We need this passion and dedication from you all. We have to keep going forward. You are the inspiration for grassroots athletes. The TOPS scheme has ensured everyone gets the facilities. We must celebrate what we have achieved today but always aim for the next big Championships. Let’s bring more medals for India in 2024,” the Minister said.
BFI President Ajay Singh, Secretary General Hemanta Kalita, Treasurer Digvijay Singh, Vice President Debojo Maharshi and Sandeep Pradhan, DG SAI were also present on the occasion as they interacted with the boxers and congratulated them on medal-winning feats.
“It’s really great that you’ve done so well at the World Championships, but this is not where we have to stop. This entire exercise we have is about the Olympics which are just two years away. Huge vote of thanks to the Ministry of Sports and Sports Authority of India for all their support,” BFI President Ajay Singh said.
Clinching their maiden medals at the world’s biggest boxing tournament, Nikhat Zareen (52kg) became the country’s only fifth woman to win gold while Manisha (57kg) and Parveen (63kg) bagged bronze medals at the event, concluded in Istanbul last week.
“I thank everyone for felicitating and encouraging us today. I promise, I will keep working hard and make my country proud in the future also. Have become world champion now and, with God’s grace, I hope I will stand in front of you as Olympic champion,” Nikhat said.
Only Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2018)—the six-time champion, Sarita Devi (2006), Jenny RL (2006) and Lekha KC (2006) had won World Championships’ titles for India before Nikhat.
In what was celebrated as the 20th anniversary of the Women’s World Championships, the Indian team added three medals in Istanbul to take its overall tally to 39—the third highest after Russia’s 60 and China’s 50 medals.