CWG 2022: Boxers Nitu Ghanghas, Amit Panghal, Nikhat Zareen clinch gold for India
Birmingham, August 7, 2022
Indian boxers Nitu Ghanghas, Amit Panghal and Nikhat Zareen clinched gold medals for the country at the 2022 Commonwealth Games after winning their respective finals in different categories here on Sunday.
Amit defeated home favourite Kiaran McDonald by unanimous decision in the men's 51kg flyweight final at the National Exhibition Centre, thus winning his first-ever gold medal at the Games.
This was Panghal's second Commonwealth Games medal, having won the silver medal at Gold Coast 2018. The gold will be a massive boost for him after suffering a shock opening round loss in the Olympics last year.
In the first round, the 26-year-old Amit bided his time, waiting for an opening but was proactive in landing his punches and jabs when the opportunity arose, often going for combinations. The Indian continued to attack in the second and McDonald got a cut on his face from one of Panghal's attacks and had to be stitched up by his team.
With the bout comfortably in Amit's favour, the third round was more subdued and the Indian won his first Commonwealth Games gold medal by unanimous decision.
On the other hand, the 21-year-old Nitu beat England's Demie-Jade Resztan 5-0 in the women's over 45kg-48kg (minimum weight) category to clinch gold. A two-time world youth champion, this is her first CWG medal.
Nitu, who was competing in her first CWG, looked completely in control throughout the bout. The Haryana pugilist's accurate punches helped her in controlling the pace of the contest and eventually led to the podium finish.
Nikhat Zareen clinched the gold medal for India in the women's 50kg light flyweight division by winning the final bout comprehensively.
The 26-year-old Indian defeated Northern Ireland's Carly McNaul, a silver medallist from Gold Coast 2018, by unanimous decision. Nikhat won three of her bouts at Birmingham 2022 5-0 and one via RSC (referee stops contest).
In a close-range contest, the two boxers traded blows early on but Zareen prevailed with her combinations. With a mix of left hooks and crosses, the Indian contained the 33-year-old McNaul in the opening round.
McNaul continued to fight at close range and resorted to a lot of clinching even as the Indian boxer countered her attacks. However, the efforts in the first two rounds were enough for Nikhat who went into evasive mode in the final round and sealed the bout and her maiden CWG medal.