India's Nitu Ghanghas outboxed England's Demie-Jade Resztan to clinch the gold medal in the women's 48 kg category at the Commonwealth Games (CWG 2022) in Birmingham on Sunday, August 7.
The puglist won India's first medal in boxing at the 2022 Birmingham games and 41st overall. Her agility in the ring, coupled with her brisk footwork and controlled combinations, allowed her to prevail over her opponents with ease.
The Haryana-born boxer littered her English counterpart with punches, leading 4-1 at the end of the first round. The next two rounds were similar and saw the youngster dominate Resztan with a barrage of punches. It proved to be too much for the Englishwoman in the end as she lost the contest 0-5 via unanimous decision.
Nitu had big shoes to fill in the weight category. She was sent to Birmingham in place of legendary MC Mary Kom, who injured herself during the selection trials held before the Commonwealth Games. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist had won the yellow medal in the previous edition of the event in Gold Coast in 2018.
In a response to Sportskeeda's query on how she handled expectations, Nitu said:
"MC Mary Kom is my role model. She's the one I look up to. I came with the aim of winning a gold medal. Even befor the bouts I was confident and always stepped into the ring aiming to give 100%. It feels great to have won a gold medal. It's just the beginning. This gold medal has set the tone for me and has given me the confidence needed to win many many more major medals in boxing in the future."
She also thanked the government, authorities and family for their support, saying:
"I’m so happy after winning this gold medal. I want to dedicate this medal to the people of my country. I want to thank the Govt of India, SAI, and BFI for all the support . I’d also like to thank my coaches & my family as because of their support i was able to win this gold medal. Thank you to NCOE Rohtak too where I had trained for many years."
Nitu Ghanghas' road to gold medal
Two-time junior world champion Nitu Ghanghas' dominance has been unreal in Birmingham.
A ruthless Nitu kickstarted her Commonwealth Games 2022 campaign by forcing her opponent from Northern Ireland, Nicole Clyde, to surrender in their quarter-final clash with a few seconds left in the final round on August 3.
The Indian boxer dominated both rounds before the Irish coaches threw in the towel in the third. She was eventually announced the winner via ABD (abandon), which is a rare feat in the boxing ring.
Nitu Ghanghas then trounced Canadian boxer Priyanka Dhillon in her next bout to storm into the women's 48kg final, winning the contest by RSC verdict (Referee Stops Contest) on August 6.
She started off with her usual nimble footwork and dominating body language, as Dhillon struggled to deal with her agility in the ring.
The puglist took the first round 5-0 with all the judges scoring a perfect ten in her favor. A ferocious Nitu gave no room for the Canadian to regroup in the next round, earning perfect scores of ten from the judges. The referee eventually stopped the contest and declared Nitu Ghanghas the winner.