Telangana’s proud players Nikhat Zareena and Akula Sreeja have won gold medals at Commonwealth Games 2022 on Sunday, pushing Indian medals tally to 53, of which 18 are gold.
Boxer Nikhat Zareen joined fellow Indian pugilists Nitu Ghanghas and Amit Panghal to win India’s third gold medal in boxing . Nikhat, the reigning world champion, took little time to wind up the final and secured a unanimous verdict against Northern Ireland’s Carly MC Naul. The win brought India its 17th gold and 48th overall medal of the Games.
Both boxers took time to settle in during the first round but even then, Nikhat was just ahead to win it 5-0. A solid left hook coupled by another set of powerful punches connected really well. MC Naul couldn’t do much and that was credit to Nikhat and her string of aggressive attacks.
Indian table tennis legend Achanta Sharath Kamal defied age to team up with young Sreeja Akula to win the mixed doubles gold medal. Barring a blip in the second game, Sharath and Akula pair was in complete control of the tie, comfortably beating Javen Choong and Karen Lyne of Malaysia 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 in the gold medal contest.
Nikhat’s CWG 2022 campaign began against Mozambique’s Helena Ismael Bagao in the round of 16 bout. Nikhat won the first round by unanimous 5-0 decision by getting perfect 10 from each of the five judges. She followed it up with yet another 5-0 win over her opponent in the second round. In the third, Nikhat’s dominance was such that the referee had to stop the contest.
In the quarterfinal, Nikhat’s challenger was Helen Jones of Wales. As expected, Nikhat was at her best and won the first round by unanimous 5-0 win over her opponent. In second round too, Nikhat scored a perfect ten and won 5-0 again. Helen landed some good punches in the third round but Nikhat would retaliate strongly and stormed into the semi-finals in style.
England’s Savannah Alfia Stubley was Nikhat’s opponent in the semis and this time around as well, the sheer dominance of Nikhat continued. Amid huge support for her opponent, Nikhat won all the three rounds with perfect scores and advanced to the finals with a unanimous 5-0 victory.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has congratulated Nikhat Zareen for winning the Gold medal in Women’s 50kg Boxing at Commonwealth Games, 2022. The Prime Minister tweeted;
“Nikhat Zareen is India’s pride. She is a world class athlete who is admired for her skills. I congratulate her on winning a Gold medal at the CWG. Excelling in various tournaments, she has shown great consistency. Best wishes for her future endeavours. #Cheer4India”