Tale of Nikhat Zareen Jameel’s resilience: From requesting a 'fair chance' to becoming world champion

News Network
May 20, 2022

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None other than legendary MC Mary Kom had asked in 2019, 'who is Nikhat Zareen'? Cut to 2022, the Telangana boxer is a world champion.

Nikhat, daughter of former footballer Mohammad Jameel, clinched the coveted gold in flyweight (52kg) division with a facile 5-0 victory over Thailand's Jitpong Jutamas in the Women's World Championship final in Istanbul on Thursday. With this win, Zareen, a 2019 Asian Championship bronze medallist, became only the fifth Indian boxer to be crowned world champion.

Three years ago, Nikhat was pleading for a "fair trial" against Mary Kom ahead of the Tokyo Olympics after being denied a chance to compete in the trials for this very tournament and today she stands as a champion.

As the flyweight world champion's name was called out on Thursday, Zareen jumped with joy, punching the air ecstatically.

She had finally done it. As the magnitude of the moment hit her, the tears began to roll down her cheeks. She had finally proven herself, shut down all her detractors.

Her slew of wins as a teenager had led people to hail her as a possible heir to the legendary MC Mary Kom's throne and her recent victories have consolidated the view.

But it hasn't been a pleasant journey for the 25-year-old as she had to battle with injury and her idol Mary Kom on and off the field in her formative years.

But she waited patiently in the wings to make the flyweight division, which has till now been dominated by the six-time champion, her own.

After the high of the junior world championship title a decade back, Zareen was dealt a major blow as she snapped her shoulder during a bout, forcing her out of the ring for nearly a year.

Still the plucky boxer was determined to establish herself at the elite level and she made a resounding comeback. Zareen picked up a bronze at the senior national championships and won the Belgrade International Championship in 2018.

The next year would turn out to be a rollercoaster for Nizamabad-based pugilist. She made her mark by winning the gold at the prestigious Strandja Memorial, Europe's oldest international boxing event, and a silver at the Thailand Open but couldn't get the better of Mary Kom, arguably the greatest woman boxer in history, in the India Open.

And ahead of the World Championship, she was refused a trial by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), which decided to go by Mary Kom's consistent performances while making the choice and the Manipuri claimed her eighth world medal.

When the federation decided to send Mary Kom for the Olympic qualifiers on the back of her bronze-winning show at the world championships, Zareen wrote to then Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju demanding a “fair chance.”

But a furious Mary Kom had asked 'Who is Nikhat Zareen'?

"I have been inspired by Mary Kom since I was a teenager. The best way I can do justice to this inspiration was to strive to be as great a boxer as her. And Mary Kom is too big a legend in sport to need to hide from the competition and not actually defend her Olympic qualification," she had said.

Zareen's request was heeded and a trial was announced much to Mary Kom's displeasure, who claimed she was always ready for a trial and was doing what the BFI said but the youngster had dragged her name everywhere.

The much-anticipated bout, however, turned out to be a one-sided affair as Zareen lost 1-9 to Mary Kom. And to top it, there was no customary handshake at the end and the senior pro also rebuffed an attempted hug from her younger rival, leaving her in tears.

But the distasteful episode could not deter Zareen from gunning for accolades.

With a bustling 2022, Zareen was right on the mark as she became the first Indian boxer to win two gold medals at the Strandja Memorial on the back of some impressive performances, including out-punching the Tokyo Olympics silver medalist in February.

She continued her stellar run, giving India its first gold in four years at the World Championship. She dominated all her bouts.

With Mary Kom in her twilight years, Zareen's win is quite assuring for Indian Boxing.

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News Network
June 23,2022

Hassan, June 23: An earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale shook parts of Hassan district and neighbouring regions in south Indian state of Karnataka in the wee hours of Thursday, a disaster management official said.

The earthquake was also felt in many villages near Somwarpet in Kodagu district. People ran out of their houses following the tremor.

According to Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner, Manoj Rajan, the epicentre was Maluganahalli village under Nagaranahalli village panchayat in Holenarasipura Taluk of Hassan district.

He said as per the seismic intensity map of the said earthquake from the epicentre, the intensity observed is moderate and the tremor may be felt up to a maximum radial distance of 40-50 kms from the epicentre.

“This type of earthquake does not create any harm to the local community, although there might be slight shaking observed locally. As the epicentre falls in Seismic Zone-II, the chances of occurrence of earthquakes is very less and the possibility of damage is low.

"As the region is void of any structural discontinuities as per the tectonic map, the community need not panic as the intensity observed is moderate and not destructive,” the commissioner explained.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 18,2022

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Mangaluru, June 18: Ilham Rafeeq of St Aloysius PU College, Mangaluru, has emerged topper in science stream in 2nd PUC examinations the results of which were announced today. Securing 597 marks out of 600, she also stood second in Karnataka state.

Elated over the results, Ilham said “I used to plan my studies and was studying daily. There is no substitute for hard work. Teachers were also very supportive and solved our doubts in the classroom itself.”

“I am not able to digest the fact that I am second topper in the state as I had not expected it as well. I have set my goal on my future studies. I want to take up BSc in clinical psychology. It is my dream to study clinical psychology” she said.

“Since my Class 10 days, I developed a fascination towards the working of the brain. I want to pursue a career in clinical psychology,” said a beaming Ms. Ilham, the younger daughter of Mohammed Rafeeq Davood, a manager in a retail chain outlet, and Moizatul Kubra, a home-maker.

She will be pursuing the course at Yenepoya Deemed to be University, Ms. Ilham said.

“Ilham is good at painting and converting waste into something useful,” her mother said. "We are happy with the result of our daughter and her hard work has paid off," her father added.

Ilham said since she was completely prepared for the 2nd PU examination, she did not face any nerves writing a public examination after a gap of nearly two years. “I had good support from our teachers. I did well in the pre-boards examination too,” she said. Ms. Ilham did her Class 10 at the Yenepoya School.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 30,2022

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Manglauru, June 30: Heavy rains lashed the coastal city of Mangaluru and other parts of Dakshina Kannada district today leaving many roads and houses inundated. 

The rains have led to widespread damage including uprooting of trees and electric poles leading to power outages, waterlogging and traffic jams.

Many low-lying areas in the city witnessed artificial flood and water entered several houses, thus making it difficult for residents to come out of the house. 

Artificial floods occurred in areas like Pumpwell, Ambedkar Circle, Kodialguthu, Kottara Chowki, Attavar, PVS, Kadri Kambala, Adyar, Ekkur, Alake, Panjimogeru, Baikampady industrial area and other areas.

The Rail Under Bridge (RUB) at Padil was inundated, and caused inconvenience to the vehicle users. There was a huge traffic block on the stretch due to waterlogging.

Meanwhile, rainwater entered into the cellars of building complexes, housing shops and other business establishments, exposing the glaring deficiency and lack of proper sewerage system in the rapidly growing city.

An orange alert has been issued for coastal Karnataka, which has been receiving moderate to heavy rains for past few days. 

The meteorological department has predicted that coastal belt of Karnataka would receive maximum rainfall during this monsoon season.  

The rains prompted residents to take to social media to complain about potholes and flooding due to poor infrastructure and failing drainage systems.

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