India's boxing star Nikhat Zareen assured herself of a second medal at the World Championships by reaching the semi-final of the New Delhi world meet on Wednesday, March 22. The 26-year-old defeated 2-time world medalist Chuthamat Raksat of Thailand in a hard-fought quarter-final bout.

Nikhat Zareen won the bout by 5-2 split decision after plenty of late drama as the judges reviewed the bout. The two boxers were standing in the middle of the ring for more than 2 minutes as the tension built up at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall. Unlike her previous rounds, Nikhat was not dominant in the bout against Raksat even as she took the first two rounds 3-2.

There was delight on Nikhat's face when the winner was announced on Wednesday. The two boxers who put on a show embraced each other as Raksat was gracious in defeat, acknowledging the applause from the crowd.

Nikhat has worked hard to reach the semi-final round after having not gotten seeding. The star boxer defeated

top seed Boualam Roumaysa in a brutal second-round battle that, according to her, was energy-sapping.

Nikhat, who won the Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham last year, shot to glory when she won gold in the women's 50kg category at the World Boxing Championships in Istanbul in 2022. It was Nikhat's first major world medal after having emerged from the shadows of Mary Kom.

Nikhat's medal is India's third at the Women's World Boxing Championships in New Delhi after Nitu Ghanghas (48kg) and Saweety Boora (81kg) moved into the semi-finals earlier in the day.

Nitu was dominant so much so against Madoka Wada of Japan that the referee had to stop the contest in the second round. Nitu Ghanghas is now assured of at least a bronze medal.

Saweety defeated Amina Zidani 5-0 in her quarter-final bout. However, there was disappointment for Sakshi Chopra (63kg) and Manisha (57kg) as they lost their quarter-final bouts in New Delhi on Wednesday.
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