Haryana’s Village Girls Put India On The Sporting Map
Girls from the remotest corners of India make their country proud.
GUWAHATI: In a huge development for women’s sports in India, team India bagged five gold medals at the AIBA Women’s Youth World Championships (AWYWC).
They all come from small, remote villages, but the feat that they’ve accomplished is nothing short of momentous. Till now, India had won only two gold medals at the Youth World Championships, but in just one afternoon, the girls exceeded all expectations and bagged five golds.
The Indian youth women’s team -- which comprises six girls from Haryana out of a total of ten teammates -- have won five gold medals which is the best performance by India so far. India emerged to be the best team in the championship with five gold and two bronze where 160 boxers from 31 countries took part.
Out of the five gold medals, four medals were won by the girls from Haryana, and the remaining girls have won bronze. Prior to this win, India had failed to produce a gold since 2011, bagging a bronze in the previous edition of the event.
This changed on Sunday, as Nitu (48kg), Jyoti Gulia (51kg), Sakshi Choudhary (54kg), Shashi Chopra (57kg) and Ankushita Boro (64kg) put forth the best performance by team India to date.
Meet the young boxers from Haryana who are in a mission to take the boxing ring by storm. They now want to influence women-power in the forefront not just in their state but in the country as well.
Jyoti, who won gold in 51 kg flyweight category versus Ekaterina Molchanova of Russia by 5:0, had to lie to her parents to go for boxing training when she was a kid. At 17, she is ready to bring a change so that the girls in her state do not face similar situations anymore.
“Yes, I used to tell my parents that I’m going to my friend’s place to do homework who used to reside near the stadium. I was determined to prove it. Now the situation has changed but there are many things which needed to be changed. The girls have the power and potentiality to perform and be a champion,” Jyoti told The Citizen.
Earlier this year, Jyoti had won silver in International Ahmet Comert Boxing Tournament in Istanbul, besides winning several gold medals in national level championships.
With the help of her coach she participated in the state level championship and won gold in 2013 which changed the mindset of her parents who are farmers in Rurkee in Rohtak.
“I was motivated to see a neighbourhood boy who won gold in a district level tournament. After 2013, I continued to bring medals at different national tournaments and now everyone is happy at my preference. Now they have even started to have plenty of expectations from me,” Jyoti, who admires Mary Kom, added.
Jyoti who thinks she is determined as Mary Kom said that her ultimate dream is to win an Olympic Gold. And now she wants to play a role. “I wanted to win Gold in world championship for my country and I’m happy I could do that. Now, I would like to tell the people back home that let your girls play. That would a great thing,” Jyoti who studies in class XI said.
She also said that the reason why Haryana is producing good number of national champion boxers is because their state level competition is very tough.
Shashi Chopra who fights in 57 kg feather-weight category says she was inspired by watching Indian badminton icon Saina Nehwal during the 2010 commonwealth games in New Delhi. Mat Kom is another idol. Shashi who is from Hisar in Haryana also won gold in this championship.
“But watching Mary Kom later, I realized that even girls can play tough games. I was ready for it. I want to play well and win medals. If I can bring a change with my performance I will be happy,” Shashi said.
Recently, she has won gold at the Balkan Youth International Boxing Championship in Bulgaria.
Another girl Sakshi from Bhiwani of Haryana won gold in her 54 kg bantamweight category. Earlier, she won two gold medals at the Balkan Youth International Boxing Championship and Junior World Championship in Turkey.
This Bhiwani girl caught the attention of the boxing fraternity when she beat US National Champion Yarisel Ramirez in the finals of the AIBA Junior Women’s World Championships in 2015, in Taipei.
Apart from that, Nitu -- who competes in 48 kg category -- has also won the gold for India. Before coming to this championship Nitu has already proved her worth inside the ring. Nitu who also hails from Bhiwani also won gold at the Balkan Youth International Boxing Championship.
Apart from that, Anupama and Neha Yadav have won a bronze medal each in 81 kg category.
Anupama who is a fan of Indian boxing poster boy Vijender Singh has won at least four national gold and two international medals -- silver at the Golden Gloves tournament in Serbia and a bronze in the Balkan tournament in Bulgaria.