Nitu, who hails from India’s ‘mini Cuba’ – Bhiwani, upstaged 2019 world championships bronze medallist Demie-Jade Resztan of England by a 5-0 unanimous verdict in the 48kg category gold medal match to claim the top honours.
“I had to lose weight to enter this category. I am so happy that my sacrifices and hard work have paid off. All I want now is to go home and eat churma made by my mother,” Nitu told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive video chat from Birmingham.
Image credit: ANI
The 21-year-old, competing in her first CWG, looked dominant through the final bout and outclassed the local favourite rather easily to claim the top prize.
“I was prepared for the final. I knew I had (already) won a bronze medal when I entered the semis. But I didn’t want to stop there. I didn’t want bronze. I didn’t want silver. I wanted a gold medal. And I am happy that I achieved it. Everyone remembers the gold medal,” Nitu told TimesofIndia.com further, with a big smile on her face.
MARY KOM THE INSPIRATION
Nitu watches videos of Indian boxing superstar MC Mary Kom’s bouts and tries to learn from them. The Olympic medallist is Nitu’s inspiration.
“I just love Mary Kom’s hunger for medals and her ‘going all out’ approach. I love to go all out just like her,” the youngster further said.
Nitu with Mary Kom (Image credit: TOI special arrangement)
“She (Mary) has been my inspiration. She is a legend and I try to learn a lot from her. I have met her a couple of times and asked her many things. She has immense knowledge and I always listen to her very carefully,” Nitu further told TimesofIndia.com.
Mary Kom, who has eight World Championship medals under her belt – 6 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze – won a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Nitu too eyes more glory and the CWG gold is just the beginning for her.
“I have just experienced the first major success in my career. I still have to go a long way. I will keep talking to her (Mary) and will try and meet her whenever she has time. I want to take it one step at a time. There are a lot of competitions coming up and I want to win as many medals for my country as possible. That is the ultimate goal for me,” Nitu told TimesofIndia.com from Birmingham.
Nitu (Image credit: TOI special arrangement)
ANOTHER STAR FROM BHIWANI
Bhiwani in Haryana is of course synonymous with Indian boxing. Four of the five boxers who represented India at the 2000 Summer Olympics were from Bhiwani. 2008 Olympic medallist Vijender Singh completed his schooling in Bhiwani and also went to college there and trained at the Bhiwani Boxing Club. Nitu, a two time World Youth champion in the light flyweight category, is also from India’s ‘Little Cuba’.
Nitu stays in Dhanana village in Bhiwani which is just 17kms away from Vijender’s house in Kaluwas village.
Nitu with Jagdish Singh and Vijender Singh (Image credit: TOI special arrangement)
Interestingly, Nitu is being trained by Jagdish Singh, a former National level boxer, founder of the Bhiwani Boxing Club and someone who who trained Vijender to Olympic glory. Jagdish Singh has also trained other Indian boxing stars like Akhil Kumar, Dinesh Kumar, Vikas Krishan Yadav and Kavita Chahal.
“Jagdish sir has played a big role in my career,” Nitu said.
“I am (also) really thankful to him (Vijender Singh) and the entire nation who prayed for me and blessed me. I have met him (Vijender) many times when he came to the academy where I train. He told me – ‘don’t stop, this is just the beginning and you have to go a long way’. Those words motivated me a lot.” Nitu further shared with TimesofIndia.com.