Nikhat Zareen became the fifth Indian to win a gold medal at the Women’s World Boxing Championship when she defeated Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas 5-0 in the fly-weight (52kg) final in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday. Nikhat was in top form as she used her technical acumen and covered the court well to outwit her nimble-footed opponent. Nikhat thus joined the likes of Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Jenny RL and Lekha KC to win a gold at the World Boxing Championships. After the historic win, Nikhat said in an exclusive interview to NDTV: “Logo ka bhai hoga, woh toh meri jaan hai. Salman, I am his huge fan. It’s my dream to meet him. My dream is to first win the Olympic medal and then go directly to Mumbai and meet Salman Khan.”

Now, the superstar has responded to the video. “Congratzz on this gold Nikhat… @nikhat_zareen,” wrote Salman on Twitter.

It was also India’s first gold medal since boxing great Mary Kom won it in 2018. Nikhat got off to a lively start and hit some sharp punches to quickly take the upper hand in the opening three minutes against confident Jutamas, who came into the match defeating the three-time World Championships medallist Kazakhstan’s Zhaina Shekerbekova.

The 25-year-old Indian took full advantage of her long reach and maintained her dominance against the Thai boxer, whom she had beaten in the 2019 Thailand Open semi-final—the only meeting between the two, enroute her silver medal finish.

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However, Jutamas tried to fight back in the second round with a counter-attacking display but hardly managed to cause any trouble for the swift-moving Nikhat, who looked in complete control.

Hitting straight and clear punches, strength proved to be a key factor as Nikhat threw caution to the wind in the final round and kept attacking relentlessly before securing the gold quite comfortably.

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