Strandja gold medalist Nitu credits SAI Rohtak’s contribution in her journey -
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Strandja gold medalist Nitu credits SAI Rohtak’s contribution in her journey

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Khel Today Bureau

New Delhi: Strandja Memorial 2022 gold medalist Nitu Ghanghas has turned her full attention to winning the coveted medal once again at the Boxing World Championships, scheduled for this May. The 21-year-old Haryana pugilist clinched the gold at the 48kg category in her very first participation at the prestigious Strandja tournament in Sofia last week.

“I heard that the Strandja is one of the oldest boxing tournaments and I feel very proud to win the gold for my country. Now, I want to take step by step this year. We have the World Championship and I want to put my full focus on it and win the gold there,” Nitu told the Sports Authority of India. “I want to sit with (coach) Bhaskar Bhatt sir and other coaches to work on my strengths and weaknesses. I want to prepare and give my best performance there.”

Nitu, who started boxing back in 2012, has faced multiple hurdles in her journey. As she looks back, she credits SAI NCOE Rohtak for giving her a new lease of life when she was struck by a life-threatening pelvic injury. “I got selected at the SAI National Boxing Academy Rohtak in 2016. I got more support there than I expected. The injury I had was diagnosed there. There were good doctors and physios who treated me very well,” Nitu continued. “It’s because of the physios, coaches and doctors that I’ve got the gold today.

“Apart from that, whatever diet I needed, I used to get in SAI Rohtak and they used to provide all facilities I needed as well. I didn’t have good sparring partners too. Once I joined there, I got that vision how to progress step by step and knew I have to go to a different level to become a champion. I made my game technical there and also learnt how to mould my game according to an opponent,” Nitu added.

Nitu Ghanghas, also a Khelo India Scholar, was inducted in TOPS Development Scheme in 2020 and again in 2021 after the Olympics. Speaking about the TOPS support, she mentions, “SAI has helped me a lot. Being in TOPS helps me get the pocket money and this helps me get whatever I require. Also, TOPS provides me whatever I require as fast as they can. I am very grateful for this support. Players do need these kinds of support.”

The 21-year-old wants to participate at the Commonwealth Games after giving her best at the Worlds. However, she knows the amount of competition she’ll face to represent India, with the likes of Mary Kom waiting as well. “My next target after Worlds is to participate in the CWG. It could be possible I go against Mary [Kom] didi in the selection trials. I will be happy to get the opportunity to have a bout with her and I want to play my own game and be at my best,” Nitu said.

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