Boxer Nikhat Zareen had to settle for a bronze after bowing out of the 1st Elite Women’s Senior Nationals, in the semifinal stage, in Haridwar.

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The 20-year-old had earlier beaten Assam’s Manju Basumatary with a 5-0 score in the third round but a superior boxer in Haryana’s Neeraja meant a 4-1 loss for Nikhat, who settled for bronze in the 51-kg fly-weight category.

Hailing from Telangana state, Zareen at the age of 17, is already a former world junior champion and clinched a silver medal at the AIBA World Youth Boxing Championships in in Bulgaria in 2013. Her talents came to the fore when in her training period for 2-3 months in 2009 in Nizamabad district, she won gold medals in 100m and 200m race at the district level. She also won a gold at the AIBA Women’s Junior and Youth World Boxing Championship in Turkey in 2011. In 2014, she took home a gold medal at the Nations Cup International Boxing Tournament in Serbia.

Zareen now aims to qualify for Olympics and expects 3 gold medals in boxing next time. Zareen fights in the 54 kg category at present. In the 2012 Olympics, there were only three medal categories that women could take part in – 51 kg (flyweight), 60 kg (middleweight) and 75 kg (lightweight). If she changes her category, there’s a full chance that Zareen will make India proud.

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