World Boxing glory not enough to power Indian women to Paris 2024

By Chetan Sharma

New Delhi, Apr 2 (IANS): India might have won four gold medals at the just-concluded IBA Women's World Boxing Championships, but the road ahead for the pugilists is tough amid the uncertainties of the qualification scenario for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

India capped off an outstanding campaign by finishing with the highest gold medals (four) at the World Championships that concluded in the national capital on Sunday.

Star boxers Nikhat Zareen and Lovlina Borgohain recorded stunning wins by contrasting margins in the finals at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex here.

In major tournaments such as the Asian Games and Olympics, the competition is very tough. In the World Championships, the Indian pugilists were handed easier draws to kickstart the mega event.

While Lovlina faced Vanessa Citalli, Nikhat was up against Anakhanim Ismayliova in round one. Manisha Moun and Saweety Boora received a bye and started their campaign directly from the second round.

Lovlina, Nikhat and Saweety made the most of the opportunities as the trio won the gold in the mega event. Gold medallist in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Nitu Ghanghas, also won a gold to swell India's tally.

Not to forget, many major countries refused to participate in the recently concluded championships.

Moreover, the qualification scenario for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games is still not clear. While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not recognised the IBA Women's World Boxing Championships, International Boxing Association (IBA) President Umer Kremlev has made it clear that IOC cannot stage Olympic qualifiers without taking permission from the IBA.

Making the road trickier is India's star boxer Mary Kom (40), who still wants to compete in the Olympics though she will probably not be able to, given her age.

Mary Kom, who was the brand ambassador of the 2023 Women's World Boxing Championships, has asserted her wish to feature in the Asian Games this year before she takes formal retirement from the sport.

Coming back to the performance of the Indian boxers, the pugilists definitely made mark in the World Championships. However, keeping in mind the challenge to remain fit and battling injuries, the road to Paris 2024 will not be a cake walk for them.



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Title: World Boxing glory not enough to power Indian women to Paris 2024

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