Famous for producing world-class men pugilists, including Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh, Haryana's Bhiwani Boxing Club, popular as BBC, on Saturday churned out two woman champions of the sport - Savita Gothra (52kg) and Sakshi Dhanana (54kg) - who won the world junior titles at Taipei, Taiwan, while another trainee, Soniya Gothra (48kg), took the silver medal.
Three of the five Indian medals, including two of the three golds, belonged to girls from the BBC. "On a number of occasions, men trainees from the centre have done us proud in international events, but it's the first time when our girls have contributed. Of three Indians crowned world champion in Taipei, two are from one centre, in their very first international exposure," says Dronacharya award winner coach Jagdish Singh, adding: "We are going to produce world-class women boxers as well now."
From village to world arena
Savita, 15, who has defeated Ukranian Rohova Kateryna 3-0 in the final to grab the 50kg world title, grew up watching boys in their boxing kits at her village, Gothra, about 40 kilometres from Bhiwani, and inspired by them, decided to join the BBC. "Coach Jagdish is very popular in Bhiwani, so when Savita insisted, I agreed to send her to his club," says Omvir, small land-holder until yesterday and today father of a world champion.
Sakshi, 15, who got the better of American Ramirez Yansel 3-0 for the 54kg world title in her maiden international tournament, didn't have words to express her happiness. "She was a mischievous child, so I introduced her to sport so to channelise her energy, and today she is a world beater," says her father, Manoj Kumar, who is from Bhiwani's Dhanana village. Another BBC trainee, Soniya of Gothra, lost 1-2 to Garcia Heaven of the US to settle for the silver in the 48-kg category. Mandeep Kaur Sandhu from Chakar village in Ludhiana won the gold medal in the 52kg class, while another Indian boxer, Niharika Gonella, won the silver in the 70kg group.