The 5th Elite Women’s National Boxing Championship came to an end on Wednesday, and the Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) successfully defended their team championship title. But it was Telangana's Nikhat Zareen who hogged the limelight and was adjudged the best boxer of the tournament.
The Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) successfully defended their team championship title as the 5th Elite Women’s National Boxing Championships came to an end on Wednesday at the St Joseph’s International School in Hisar. Team RSPB concluded the prestigious event with 12 medals, including five gold, six silver, and one bronze, and remarkably, the RSPB boxers won medals in every single weight category, making it a performance to remember.
The final day of the event, which was hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) in association with the Haryana Boxing Sangh, also witnessed dominating performances from Haryana’s Pooja Rani, the two-time Asian champion, who convincingly defeated RSPB's Nupur 5-0 in the 81kg category as well as her statemate Nitu, who pulled off an upset win by a unanimous margin over World Championships silver medalist Manju Rani of RSPB in the 48 Kg category.
With the participation of more than 320 boxers of 36 states/ UTs/boards, BFI has successfully executed the sixth national event, with strict safety protocols, after the resumption of the sport in the country post-COVID-19 pandemic. BFI president Ajay Singh was present at the closing ceremony of the tournament.
The 2016 World Championships silver medallist, Sonia Lather led the RSPB's domination as she registered a comfortable 5-0 win over Manisha of All India Police in the 57kg category. Later In the 60kg category, Meena Rani handed the team second gold when she staved off a stiff challenge from Haryana's Jaismine to win the intense match 3-2. Jaismine was given the best challenger award for her impressive show. Anamika (50kg), Shiksha (54kg) and Nandini (+81kg) were the other RSPB pugilists who emerged champions.
Haryana, whose boxers showed skill and application, claimed the second position with nine medals (four gold, four silver, and a bronze) while Delhi finished third with a gold and two bronze medals.
Telangana's Nikhat Zareen also clinched the title in the 52kg category as she defeated Haryana's Minakshi 4-1 in the final. Nikhat was also adjudged the Best Boxer of the Championships award for her brilliant show in the event that would have surely caught the eye of the coaches and the selectors.
Meanwhile, in the 70kg category, reigning youth world champion Arundhati Choudhary of Rajasthan also put up a memorable show to win gold after defeating RSPB's Pooja 5-0.
The gold and silver medallists of the championships have earned themselves places in the national coaching camp. The remaining two names for the camp in each category will be selected on the basis of performances in selection trials, which will take place right after the nationals. In the trials, the bronze medallist winners will compete alongside the boxers representing the second team of top-3 teams of the last National Championships—Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB), Haryana and All India Police.