Nitu Ghanghas eyes LA 2028 Olympics, says “Confident that I will make it”

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Nitu Ghanghas may be temporarily away from public spotlight but the Haryana boxer is spending quality time at the Bhiwani Boxing Club preparing for the Los Angeles Olympics in July 2028.

A world champion in the 48 kg class, the 23-year-old Nitu could not make it to the Paris Olympics in the 54 kg division, a weight category where she is developing more power and adding skills to keep her reputation as a feisty fighter intact.

In a new episode of the Fit India Champions podcast, Nitu said, “From childhood I have always wanted to win, battled many odds and disappointments and came out on top with my family’s help. I am already looking forward now.”

Having excelled in the 48 kg class, a weight division that once exclusively belonged to London Olympics (51 kg) bronze medallist Mary Kom, Nitu wants to emulate her idol.

“I grew up seeing her and it was my dream to fight Mary didi. That opportunity did come (Commonwealth Games 2022 trials) but Mary Kom had to withdraw due to a knee injury after a minute into the opening round. I really wanted a full fight, so it was a bit disappointing,” said Ghanghas, who is a natural left-handed boxer like Mary.

Nitu went on to win the Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham.

The ardent Mary Kom fan is considered as a potential successor to the Manipuri legend and missing Asian Games in Hangzhou and Paris 2024 has not left the 2023 world and Commonwealth Games champion heartbroken, instead more determined.

“I think all three of them can return with a medal from Paris. They are all capable fighters and have gained a lot of experience. As far as I am concerned, I will take it step by step as I get better and stronger in 54 kg division. My immediate target is the world championships in Astana, Kazakhstan in October this year and my coach Jagdish Singh is prepping me for it. I am confident that I have the mettle to make it to Los Angeles Olympics in 2028,” she added.

To qualify for the Asian Games and Paris Olympics, Nitu, proficient in the 48 kg class, had to upgrade herself to the 54 kg class but it was Preeti Pawar who pipped her to the Hangzhou 2023 squad.

“I am from Bhiwani Boxing Club and I have a legacy to take forward. Vijender Singh’s Beijing Olympics was a massive trigger for girls like us to play boxing. In our village (Dhanana), it was unthinkable for a girl to play sport. But it was my father (Jai Bhagawan) who backed me up regardless of the fact that even our closest relatives thought we were crazy because I was going to take up boxing,” Nitu Ghanghas narrated during the podcast.

With age on her side and known for her aggressive style, Nitu remains among India’s top women boxers. With greater exposure and intense training, the Haryana girl is expected to grab the headlines again once the Paris Olympics are over.



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