World Boxing Championships: Lovlina, Nikhat and Pooja in the Indian team

Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain (70kg) made it to the Women’s World Championship on Wednesday after three days of trials which ended with some other experienced fighters like Nikhat Zareen (52kg) and Pooja Rani to be held in Istanbul (81kg) also qualified for the event.

This will be Borgohain’s first competitive appearance following her podium finish in the 69kg category in Tokyo, which no longer exists in International Boxing Association (IBA) events.

Six-time world champion Mary Kom has retired from both the World Cup and the Asian Games to focus on the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in July and August.

Lovlina Borgohain defeated world youth champion Arundhati Choudhary, who had approached the Delhi High Court to protest the Assam star’s automatic selection when the world event was scheduled for December last year.

The tournament was eventually postponed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and will take place from May 6th to May 21st according to the revised schedule.

Aside from the 12 World Cup categories, Asian Games selections have also been confirmed in three overlapping divisions – 57kg, 60kg and 75kg.

At 57kg, Manisha won her tryouts to qualify for both flagship competitions, while the promising Jaismine (60kg) and experienced Saweety Boora (75kg), who won a world silver medal in 2014, also secured the twins selection.

Zareen was an expected selection as she has soared after becoming the first Indian boxer to win two gold medals at the prestigious Strandja Memorial Tournament earlier this month.

Nitu (48 kg), who won gold at the same tournament, also secured a place in the World Cup squad.

Another new Strandja medalist who qualified for the squad was Nandini (+81 kg), who took bronze at the tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The team also includes Rani, who was devastated by the death of her father earlier this month. The tragedy had forced her to withdraw from the Strandja Memorial.

She is a two-time Asian gold medalist.

In the 66kg category is Assam’s Ankushita Boro, a former World Youth Champion.

Trials for the remaining two weight classes of the Asian Games – 51kg and 69kg – will take place from March 11th to 13th.

Indian Team for the Women’s World Cup

Nitu (48 kg), Anamika (50 kg), Nikhat Zareen (52 kg), Shiksha (54 kg), Manisha (57 kg), Jaismine (60 kg), Parveen (63.5 kg), Ankushita Boro (66 kg ), Lovlina Borgohain (70 kg), Saweety Boora (75 kg), Pooja Rani (81 kg) and Nandini (+81 kg).

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