Nikhat Zareen storms into semis, assures India of medal

BIRMINGHAM: World champion Nikhat Zareen assured herself and India a medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games after she stormed into the semifinals of the women’s light flyweight boxing with an impressive 5-0 win over Wales’ Helen in the quarterfinals, here on Wednesday.

Nikhat, for whom it will be the first medal at the CWG, was aggressive from the get-go against Jones. She landed a left jab early into the first round and was unfazed by her opponent’s flurry of punches, expertly dodging them while managing to land most of her own to dominate at the National Exhibition Center.

The Indian boxer barely had her guard up through the bout and smartly mixed up her punches, using the left jab when Jones was closer while going for her favored powerful right punch when she was away.

The world champion consistently found gaps in Jones’ guard and the result was a foregone conclusion before the third round.

Along with Nikhat, twice youth world champion Nitu Ghanghas and CWG 2018 bronze-medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin are also assured of medals in boxing at CWG 2022 as they also reached the semifinals in their respective weight divisions, overcoming their quarterfinal opponents in contrasting styles.

Nitu reached the last-four stage of the women’s minimum weight division (over 45-48kg) when her opponent Nicole Clyde of Northern Ireland abandoned the bout while Hussamuddin beat Namibia’s Tryagain Morning Ndevelo 4-1 by split decision in the men’s featherweight.

Olympic medalist Lovlina Borgohain will be in action later tonight as she chases a first CWG medal.

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