AA Edit | India’s golden boxing girls
Some of the wins came in hard-fought bouts, further embellishing a golden sporting journey for women boxers
Women came into their own in the sporting arenas of the country long before their true emancipation may have come in various other sectors. A little under 40 years ago, P.T. Usha just missing an Olympic medal was seen as the height of achievement. Her successors who chose sport as a way of expressing their newfound liberation have reached great heights, a fact fully represented in Indian boxers winning four gold medals in the world championship in Delhi.
Nothing quite symbolises the equality of the sexes in sport than boxers winning medals in a gruelling sport that is physically demanding and psychologically tough as pugilists take almost as many punches as they land. The truly rural backgrounds from which they come and the zeal with which they pursue tough regimen in training, fitness and technique symbolise the indomitable spirit of Indian womanhood. It is not just sporting excellence that they display every time they win a bout; they also strike a blow for people of their gender.
The Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain put in a breakthrough performance in the 75 kgs, winning her first gold and joining Nikhat Zareen, who emulated Mary Kom in winning a second world title, and Nitu Ghanghas and Saweety Booras to make it a magnificent four for India. Some of the wins came in hard-fought bouts, further embellishing a golden sporting journey for women boxers. They will deserve every encouragement and monetary rewards from here for their pursuit of excellence against the odds.
The boxers were joined in their celebrations in another arena by the winners of the first ever Women’s Premier League, a competition that is a belated and yet welcome recognition of gender equality by the cricket board, once the most chauvinistic organisation in sport. Mumbai Indians carried away a glittering cup as well as Rs 6 crore in prize money. Beyond that, it was the women cricketers’ athleticism on the field, their understanding of the art and craft of cricket and the sheer joy they displayed in playing sport that was the clear highlight.