An underdog from the state of Telangana has scripted history. Who would have thought? A middle-class girl, conservative family, third of the four sisters - Nikhat Zareen wasn't the one to get tamed by all this. She reached for the stars and made the sky her own.
25-year-old Zareen started boxing at the age of 13, and is a flyweight boxer. It was like she was meant for this, and after she started her career, she did not look back. In 2010, she won a gold medal in State Championship in Karimnagar.
She won the gold in the 2011 World Junior and Youth Championship. In 2014, Nikhat recieved an amount of Rs. 50 lakh from Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao as cash incentive.
Earlier this year, Zareen became the first Indian to win two gold medals at the Strandja Memorial. She won bronze during the 2019 Asian Championship. She and Mary Kom were in the news in 2019 for all the wrong reasons.
'Who is Nikhat Zareen?' Who can forget this statement from Mary Kom.
The selection trials for the 2019 world championship were cancelled, and Mary Kom was given an automatic selection. Not satisfied by the events that transpired, Nikhat wrote a letter to Boxing Federation of India.
Rajesh Bhandari, the then BFI chairman, said that the decision was taken considering India's best bet to win a medal. When it was said that Kom would be an automatic choice for the Tokyo Olympics, Zareen demanded a fair chance. That was when Mary Kom said, "Who is Nikhat Zareen?"
It was then that she wrote to the Sports Ministry, stating that even Olympic gold medallists have to fight to qualify and represent the country. The trials were conducted, Mary Kom took on Nikhat Zareen, and eventually defeated her.
Who would have thought? A middle-class girl, conservative family, third of the four sisters - Nikhat Zareen wasn't the one to get tamed by all this and much more. She reached for the stars and made the sky her own.