Pooja Rani Boora is an Indian middleweight boxer who has now qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
The six-time national champion has qualified for the 75 kg category, increasing the hope for more than one medal for India, in the Olympics this year. The athlete has won a Gold Medal in the 2016 South Asian Games and a Silver and Bronze medal in the 2015 Asian Championship in the75 kg weight categories. The boxer also represented India at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the 75 kg category.
𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗘 𝗪𝗘 𝗚𝗢 🤩— Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) July 22, 2021
This is how 1st round of @Tokyo2020 looks like for our Baazigars as the Olympic draw unveiled earlier today 🔥
Take a look, tell us what you think ⬇️#RingKeBaazigar#boxing#Tokyo2020#Cheer4India pic.twitter.com/KjCeYTHJ5V
Road to success
Rani's road to success has not been a smooth one. At 18 she started boxing because she liked that it was an individual discipline. But her father Rajveer Singh Bohra, who is a police officer did not support her will to pursue the game and she had to practice in secret at the Capt. Hawa Singh Boxing Academy in Bhiwani. As she was pursuing the sport in secret, she tried to not get hurt while playing and used to be sad when she got hurt, because she knew that seeing her scars, her family would make her quit.
However, her father's mind changed after talking to Rani's coach Sanjay Sheoran, and in her first year of doing boxing, she became a Youth State Champion. Later she also won a Silver Medal at the Youth Nationals in the 60kg category after which her father rewarded her with a bike.
Rani's hassles did not end here. On Diwali in 2017, the boxer burnt her hand in an accident and could not play the sport for six months. After returning, she tried to practice more in order to make up for the lost time but sustained a shoulder injury. These continuous hurdles dented Rani's confidence and she thought of switching to the 81 kg category, as not a lot of Indian's compete in the category. But after she won Gold in the ASBC Asian Championship, India's foreign coach Raffaele Bergamasco was convinced that Rani should return to the 75 kg category.
In an interview, the athlete said that Bergamasco had more faith in her than she had, and he still has that faith in her. Boosting Rani's confidence, Bergamasco said that the athlete recently gained a lot of lower body strength which allows her to change her strategy. This can also help her to adapt to the opponent and makes her one of the best boxers to watch out for in the Tokyo Olympics.